Facebook, birthday and best wishes

anju

Anju Yadav | February 3, 2015



In the ripe old middle age birthdays evoke a mix of the happy and the unhappy. Happiness comes from knowing that your family and friends love you, care for you, while the ticking clock knocking off another year of your age makes one at least a little unhappy.

After resisting for years, I finally synched my phone with Facebook updates. And for the most part of my birthday I kept marvelling at the benefits of being on social media. (Disclaimer: I have been thinking of pulling down my profile for some time now. Anyway, I can be said to be quite unsocial on the social media platform. Have resisted the pressures from workplaces to tweat. Have left friends ‘waiting to connect’ on Twitter, Quora, Linkedin and may other such websites for long. That reminds me, I am still alive, though hardly kicking, on Orkut, which itself has so much so died.)

Coming back to my birthday – even if one discounts the myriad wall posts for merely being fb etiquette, it was the private messages that gave one joy, or an old-and-half-forgotten friend picking up the phone to wish a happy birthday. One couldn’t stop gushing for a while, counting one’s blessings all the time.

Birthday passed well, what with cutting three cakes and trying hard to control the portions.

The shocker came two days later. A random acquaintance from the morning walk chimed a high-pitched ‘happy belated birthday’ even as she brisk-walked in the opposite direction. Clearly, my birthday is not an occasion to merit a pause in the hour-long-struggle at staying fit. I may make it clear, I do not expect her to do so for me, birthday or not.

But, hey, how did she know about my birthday? We barely know each other’s names. Barring the one random time when I was a fool enough to try match her pace, I ended with a stiff neck, literally. For a week thereafter I felt any pace of walking to anywhere right in my neck. That was enough for me to mind my own walk.

But, coming back to the original thought. How did she know? I am not her facebook friend. Neither do we have any common friends in the colony who could have discussed with her, of all things, my birthday. Heck, I know nothing about her, except the occasional jealousy I can’t help feel at her constant fast-paced walk every single day.

It didn’t, however, take long to figure out. She must be on the fb group of the residents welfare society that I am a part too. (For the record, I am a silent spectator to most of the activity there too.)

The encounter has left me wondering at all the familiar faces from the morning walk – would he/she know about my birthday? And, what else?

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