I’ve been on Facebook since last winter.
This weekend I had the most enjoyable experience with the site since becoming a member, and it didn’t involve ranking my top five favorite sports teams or posting frightening pictures from high school.
I felt like I was about 10 years old again when your friends come over for a birthday party. You have the cake and ice cream, play some games and, of course, all those presents. At that maturity level it’s often materialistic. The fact that others are recognizing you for the simple fact it’s your birthday is taken for granted.
Now, as long as my wife and kids remember, I’m fine with that.
As those of you on Facebook know there is an icon in the bottom right-hand portion of the screen that alerts you to whose birthdays amongst your friends is coming up.
This is not something I check regularly.
Wow, does that need to change.
Starting a couple of days before my birthday I started receiving an unusual number of Facebook comments in my inbox. I’ll occasionally get a remark about something I’ve written or posted for Everyday Christian. The quick uptick morphed into the worst journalism fears: uh-oh I really blew something and everyone’s letting me know it.
On the contrary they were all messages wishing me a happy birthday. And they kept on coming for the next few days, many from friends at church and all of which I’m grateful for.
It was a valuable reminder of how often small gestures can trump some huge gift or lavish expense. It was really cool to have the feeling of being surrounded by a stack of cards, gifts and good wishes like when you were a kid.
So if you’re one of my Facebook friends and I missed wishing you a happy birthday in recent months, I’ll work on doing better in the future.
Even if you’re not on Facebook -yet – don’t take for granted the small things you can do for people you know that don’t cost a dime.
You don’t have to be craving the newest Atari game (Space Invaders anyone?) like I did when I was 10 to make the sentiments meaningful.