I turned 40 yesterday. I suppose this is a milestone. Many people wished me a happy birthday. So rather than simply send out a collective, "Thanks for the birthday acknowledgment," let's try something different. I will now provide an incredibly objective analysis of all the birthday wishes via facebook. I have a unique perspective for this because I have never requested a friend on facebook. As clearly stated in my profile, "I cannot request your friendship because the fear of rejection is too great." I think I may have buckled about 3-4 times when dealt with one of those friend suggestion requests - they make you feel kind of guilty.
So let's do this...
I currently have 225 friends.
There are probably about 3 that I've NEVER met, and sometimes I have difficulty ascertaining the identities of people that I've known for decades. So let's break this down...
A grand total of 54 individuals wished me a happy birthday. That's 24% of my personal facebook community.
The vast majority of messages (92%) were one sentence - "Happy Birthday, SAF" or something to that affect.
2 of them added an additional "F" to my last name (this doesn't bother me but works better if you call me "Saffy").
65% of the messages were from females.
35% were from men.
To the best of my knowledge, I have no friends that are transgendered.
Now you're probably asking the question, "What the fuck is wrong with him? Why can't he be normal and just do the obligatory - "Hey everyone, thanks for the birthday wishes" routine. Well, here's the reason. Try to bear with me. I am NOT trying to sound conceited. Based on my aforementioned facebook friend policy, I think it's safe to assume that most friends on my list like me, or at least to some extent, tolerate me. After all, THEY made the request. This puts me in a unique position. Wouldn't it be safe to assume that a 24% birthday response is a pretty strong barometer of one's popularity? Let me clarify this position. I think it's a decent barometer for a 40 year old male. After all, the younger populace seems more inclined to send messages with reckless abandon.
I enjoyed the recent South Park episode that exposed the nonsensical value of having over 1,000 friends. Unless you're trying to engage in self-promotion, who the hell really knows thousands of people? Sheer volume is a poor method to gauge popularity. However, percentages are far less likely to be misleading. So my point to all this nonsense - If you're one of these diehard facebook people, I think it's statistically reasonable to say that a 24% birthday response is what people should be setting their sights on.
The real irony of this - I never celebrate my birthday. In fact, I don't celebrate any of the major holidays. I desperately try to treat each day with an unflinchingly standard approach. Not too high, not too low. It's because I hate to feign excitement or generate false enthusiasm. Perhaps this explains my contempt for the granddaddy of them all - New Years Eve (amateur night). You'll never see me standing in the middle of the dance floor embracing the confetti, stomping the balloons and blowing multiple kazoos.
OK, so my point to all this Mr. T inspired gibber gabber. Four decades of life is nothing to casually dismiss. Aside from the 24% benchmark which I honestly believe has some degree of credibility, I'm going to make an unprecedented birthday resolution. There are few of you out there in the cyberworld, and even more in the real world that I'd like to get know better. In the near future, you might be getting a call or an email. Watch for it. After all, you can never have enough friends. Well... unless you're my neighbor.