Birthdays and Obligations

Sometimes, we feel obliged to do things. Do you get the same feeling too?

Everytime Facebook reminds you who are the friends having their birthday, do you feel obliged to send a “Happy Birthday” message?

If you chose not to send it, do you feel guilty after that? It’s like.. “Facebook has reminded me and threw the reminder onto my face. Cannot don’t send leh.. but if I send, the friend also won’t think I’m sincere since Facebook sent the reminders.”

But if you sent it, have you done it willingly? Do you sincerely wish the person has a happy birthday?

This question on obligations was asked during a class last week, when we were on the topic of Social Interactions. There are no rights and wrongs, it’s about how humans react when situations happen.

Since we’re on the topic on birthdays, I wonder how many of us actually remembers our friends’ birthdays.

So I did an experiment – to see who are the friends who really remembers my birthday. Judging from previous years’ experience, on average there were about 100~150 wishes via Facebook.

Last year, I hid my birthday info a day before the actual day. Other than the few close(r) friends who texted me via whatsapp, there were only a handful who sent me wishes via Facebook.

This year, I did the same experiment again – hiding the info a day before the actual day. On the day itself, 1 message came in via Facebook and a few via whatsapp. When I set the info visible a day after the actual day, that’s when more messages came in.

No, I don’t feel sad about it at all. I don’t feel like I’ve been forgotten. When one gets older, priorities change. Plus the fact that we have become so reliant on technology, we tend to forget things that we used to be able to recall with the snap of our fingers.

Back to the topic on obligations. I’ve also not been sending birthday wishes on Facebook the past months. I don’t want to seen as “aiya confirm is Facebook remind one..”.

That reminds me of an exchange student in my class who said I’m rude and that I should at least pretend to say hi when I see him along the corridors – but then why should I when I’m not sincere and when he wasn’t in my field of sight? Should I yell across the corridor if I do see him at the other end then?

I digressed. Happy belated birthday to myself! And happy birthday to everyone whose birthday falls on the 365/366 days of the year!

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