Am I a bad person because I don’t wish people Happy Birthday online anymore?

Asking for a friend.

Because I do appreciate the flood of messages I get on Facebook when my own birthday rolls around, but at some point in the last few years I just… stopped doing the same for others. Partly because it’s a lot to keep track of, not just whose birthday it is but also do I take the time to craft a more specific message than just the generic “many happy returns of the day”?

I’ll be honest, the random people giving me shit about that specific turn of phrase (because I always make public posts) didn’t help either.

Mostly I just don’t feel like I’m contributing much. Which is, I suppose, hypocritical, given that I do like getting lots of birthday well-wishes myself. But even then, it all blurs together after a while, and I don’t want to add to the noise for anyone else. Especially acquaintances whom I don’t know very well.

It’s the same basic reason I don’t tend to comment on current events much. If I don’t have anything new or different to say, I often feel like I’d just be doing it to make myself feel important, not because I have anything interesting to add.

But is it like voting, where my action still counts even when it’s identical to many others’? Is the point for me to declare myself in alignment with that particular cause, even if it doesn’t necessarily need more advocates?

Still feels a bit selfish, if I’m being honest.

Just something I happen to be mulling today. (Writing a scene involving a birthday party for the current novel project.)


  1. I disabled my birthdate on FaceBook and don’t expect anyone to mention it, and I do not pile on to the wall blasting practice of wishing happy birthday. If I see the birthday person in person, I will wish them a happy one.

  2. FWIW, I (inconsistently) stopped wishing folks Happy Birthday on the FB a few years back, though I too appreciate the incoming wishes on my own birthday, especially when I see them from folks who don’t otherwise interact/post much – I like the surprise! Given this, I think I’ll go back to opportunistically piling on 🙂

    PS: Apologies for being one of the random people giving you shit, specifically in my wishes to you in 2014 & 2015! It was intended as good natured shit giving.

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