Facebook Birthday Etiquette


So it turned out that yesterday I took a short normal trip away from the Internet for the first time in a long time. I did so more or less without anxiety or guilt, figuring “It’s my birthday, it would be sad and pathetic to spend it on Twitter.” 

When I returned, I discovered hundreds of sweet, well-meaning birthday greetings here and on Facebook and Twitter. It was a surprisingly touching thing to see. I’m very grateful for this expression of good will, and I suppose it would be nothing but churlish to say, “That’s it? Do all of you realize that this was the 43rd time I woke up on my birthday thinking this year at last I’ll get a pony, and the 43rd time I’ve been cruelly disappointed?”

Forty-three years without a pony, folks. Think about that. You especially, Mom. 

Anyway, back to being grateful. Good manners compel me to feel I should thank everyone who took the time to say “Happy Birthday” personally. But here’s the thing: Among those well-wishers were, how to put it, some in-person friends, people I hadn’t heard from in a long time. The kind of friends who at one point or another did real in-person bonded-for-life friendship things with me, like exfiltrating me in their trunks after the operation went pear-shaped or posting my bail. I was excited to see their names. To them, I want to say “Well, finally, Ana-Katerina Vinkler-Petrovic. And what’s up with the ‘Vinkler?'” 

Do you think, though, that it’s rude to thank some people more lavishly than others? To express more interest in some of my birthday-well-wishers than others? Or should I be even-handed in my appreciation lest I seem to suggest other friends are not more devoted and loyal? 

I guess here’s how I’ll handle it. Thank you, everyone. I was really touched.

Some of you, and you know exactly who you are, are special in-person friends. If you’re a special in-person friend, I was delighted when I saw your name and I thank you especially.

Now, a special message to the in-person friends: Next year there had better be a damned pony or I’m going to hold my breath until I turn blue. 

And a special message to Brad Clanton, who said that for my birthday he was going to pay for his Ricochet membership: You count now as an in-person friend. As does everyone on Ricochet. 

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    Next year (assuming this guy is wrong) change the date of birth in your Facebook profile a week before that date is set to arrive; set it to some inaccurate date which has already passed. The day after your real birth date, change it back to what it should be. Your good friends will know when your birthday is and they’ll probably make a phone call or send an actual card or gift [no pony, though]. You’ll avoid much of these awkward feelings associated with the perceived fairness in which you dole out your appreciation for ‘remembering’ your birthday.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member

    And what would the cats think of a pony?

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive

    From you according to your affinity,

    To each according to their deeds.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive

    Happy Belated Claire. My rule of thumb: If you have their number in your phone, you call. If not, the internet is sufficient. If you don’t want to do either, delete them from the social media or contact list.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member

    What breed, color, age, and size pony do you want, Ma’am?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member

    And, where do you want him shipped?

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive

    Let me pass along some words of wisdom that my mom bestowed upon me…

    “With all of the horse-sh** there is in this world, I’m sure there’s a pony out there for you somewhere dear.”

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Thatcher

    Happy Birthday Claire. There is a very nice horse farm near me, I am sure they have ponies (better yet horses) for lease.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    Charles Allen: And what would the cats think of a pony? · May 21 at 5:00am

    You’re gonna need a much bigger litter box…

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member


    I have done a thorough analysis of the current statistics and I have come to a startling conclusion.

    People who have a Lot of Birthdays, are living longer than those who do not.

    So be sure to maintain your perspective when you are contemplating that your ranch does not have the heard of 43 ponies you have been asking for.

    Edit: Hey, I have an idea. Why not attend more Obama speeches, I’m sure you could sneak out with one of the Ponies he trots across stage during his unending and annoying Dog and Pony shows.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member

    Do you even have any idea how much food ponies eat?

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive

    I always write a short poem or song. But only for actual friends, instead of random people I don’t know who send FB Friend requests. So feel special; it takes a lot of love to go public with such lame lyrics.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive

    I had to look up exfiltrating – and the Ricochet spell checker hasn’t heard of it, either.

    Well, it is perfectly fine by me if Claire is not even-handed in her thanks. I only know her from here, where she is always fully-clothed, and I may even have been a little rude at times, so my apologies for that.

    As for the pony, well, as the Rolling Stones used to sing, “You can’t always get what you want”.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive

    First off, happy birthday. Second, no, I’m not giving you a pony either.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive

    Facebook birthday wish-thanking etiquette is easy: just ‘Like’ everyone’s comment one by one, and add “Thanks guys” at the bottom of the thread.

    Have to admit, I always feel guilty because I never wish anyone a happy birthday on Facebook. I never bothered in the past, and then never started because I didn’t want to offend the people I’d ignored before.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive

    Happy belated Birthday Claire.

    Now toughen up Princess, and buy your own fricken pony.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive

    Oh my, Herkybird! :D My husband is fond of this gem…”Horses eat money and s#*% work.” Still, I dare to dream ;)

    Herkybird:…”With all of the horse-sh** there is in this world, I’m sure there’s a pony out there for you somewhere dear.” · May 21 at 7:08am

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive

    Claire, I found you on Facebook today and was happy to learn that your birthday and mine are 1 day apart. I handled it the same as you: “Thanks everyone, for the happy birthdays.” That’s all you can do.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive

    I can’t help you with the pony. Not even a Shetland. But I’ve got a parrot for you. Norwegian Blue. Lovely plumage.

    • #19
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