They say that there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. I think they’re wrong.
Let’s start with the taxes part. Sure, we all pay our taxes. Except we all don’t. The rich have clever ways of getting around that and I’m pretty sure this is why our current president doesn’t want to show any of his returns. So, I’m going to replace taxes with social media, because I have friends on all the social medium who do not pay their taxes.
And death? I mean, yeah… but, man, that’s morose. Let’s flip that around and instead of death, let’s call it life. Doesn’t that feel more positive?
So, now there are only two guarantees in life: life and social media. And in the middle of those come online birthday greetings. But what’s the right one for you to send to someone?
Let’s get into it.
Before we break it all down, let me bust out a little confession for you: I’m turning 41 on Thursday.
I don’t really love birthdays. But I love people wishing me happy birthday. It’s gross, I know. I think there’s just something about the acknowledgment that I find very validating. I’m aware that I have some massive self-worth issues and that clicks and posts are no way to equate value, or at least that’s what my therapist tells me. SEE?!?!? I LISTEN, CHAD!
But, as we all know, how you choose to wish someone a happy birthday is just as meaningful as actually doing it. So, let’s break it down.
Before we deep dive into this, I want to lay out a few parameters.
First off, I am not including Tik Tok. This is mostly because I’m old and don’t understand it. However, from how I do understand it, you could use the app to make some sort of elaborate birthday dance video, and it seems like that would just trump everything.
Also, no private messages. No DMs or Facebook chats. The whole point is that these are supposed to be social. I’m not saying a birthday DM is bad, but it just doesn’t qualify for this list. This is also why I’m not including Cameo, where a message is sent to a person and they choose to post it or keep it personal.
Ok. Let’s get celebratory.
The Official Hierarchy Of Social Media Birthday Greetings
(From Lowest To Highest)
Post On LinkedIn Wall
(AUTHORS NOTE: I wasn’t even going to include this one until someone told me this is how one person wishes them a happy birthday even though they haven’t updated their profile in six years)
What It Says: I don’t understand the internet.
Message On Person’s Facebook Wall
What It Says: Facebook told me it was your birthday, and I wanted to do something, but also wanted to make sure that something was, literally, the bare minimum of what I could do. Honestly, if you just react to the message, we’ve each put in the same amount of work. This is a fine communist system of birthday wishes and reciprocation. Honestly, we may not even be friends. It is entirely possible I’m not sure who you are but you kind of look familiar, so this is really just me hedging my bets.
Instagram Story/Snapchat Story
What It Says: I either have, at the bare minimum, one picture of you OR I’ll just post your handle over a background/video. Clearly, we know each other because this is taking some effort. That being said, in 24 hours, I want this shit gone. If you do not copy and put this on your own story, my feelings will be hurt.
Post On Own Facebook Wall
What It Says: I want to show everyone that we’re friends, and say something really nice about you. I’ve taken the time to think of something thoughtful or silly or personal and I want to show you how much you mean to me. If you don’t respond to this, this will never happen again and I will be legit mad. Plus, I’m letting you know you should do this for MY birthday. Also, this is your birthday card, so stop looking in the mail.
Post On Twitter
What It Says: Exact same thing as posting on my own Facebook wall, but Twitter is infinitely superior to Facebook. Also, I better make sure that I am following you (and vice versa) or why even fucking bother? Like this and we’ll still be cool, but I expect you to retweet this shit, so why don’t you take care of that now? Also, this is your birthday card.
Post On Instagram Wall
What It Says: I have pictures and I’m going to share them and say nice things. Plus, my Instagram is linked to my Facebook because I’m not new to the internet. So, you’re going to get two things for one. This is a birthday card and a small present. You’re goddamned welcome. Reply with something nice.
A Birthday Tweet You Screenshot And Make An Instagram Post Knowing It Will Also Show Up On My Facebook Wall
What It Says: I love you more than your parents.