Yesterday was my birthday ... and while I admittedly enjoy pretty much any kind of attention, I couldn't help but be a bit disheartened by the number of flat "happy birthdays" I received via electronic communications.
I understand how annoying the obligatory "happy birthday" can be, and Facebook's new prompts only make you feel more guilty for not writing on the walls of every one of your 400 "friends" when you're alerted of the anniversary of their birth.
But you do have a choice: ignore the birthday alert or commit to the post by writing on the birthday girl's wall with some enthusiasm, for chrissakes. At least muster up an exclamation point or two after "happy birthday," or personalize it a bit with "happy birthday, Amy!" It's only three extra letters, people. The "happy birthdays" with no punctuation, or worse, a period, sort of put a damper on my special day. And even though I normally enjoy acronyms, "HBD" is just lazy.
A few hours into the work day, a colleague who must create Outlook alerts for everyone's birthdays sent an email out letting everyone know it was my birthday, and I started noticing the same grumpy grammar in responses from the rest of my team. I was equally annoyed by the obligatory thank yous I had to write back, but at least I faked it with smiley face emoticons :)
Then again, I also received a rather creepy e-card from a co-worker I've never met in person that featured a picture of me he somehow copied and pasted from Facebook in the middle of several birthday graphics and messages ... apparently it is possible to say "happy birthday" with too much enthusiasm. (His friend request is still pending.)