Thursday, August 02, 2012

overly responsive birthday analysis

Two years ago, I blogged about an "objective facebook birthday analysis."  Facebook has changed quite a bit since then.  It used to be about getting up at the crack of dawn, tending to the crops in a mythical, agrarian subculture called Farmville.  Or maybe it was about sipping on an imaginary Long Island Iced Tea.  Or maybe someone posted a special birthday picture filled with balloons and confetti.  There were all kinds of festive ways to celebrate.

The facebook "birthday terrain" has evolved a bit.  And guess what?  Today's the big day.  Personally, I'm hoping someone will post a pic featuring legions of diseased, inbred, Wheeling Island cats wishing me the happiest of birthdays.  The caption below it reads... "It's your birthday.  Go forth.  Be fruitful and mutliply."

And yeah, I'm sure someone out there will step up their game with...


or


or

maybe a picture of Borat in a swimsuit offering me an all-expenses paid vacation to Kazakhstan.

But instead, I'll likely be on the receiving end of celebratory birthday wishes.   Most of these heartfelt posts will read verbatim...

"Happy Birthday, Saf"
"Happy Birthday, Saff" (technically incorrect)
"Happy Birthday, Eric"
"HB, SAFFY"

or some other inspired combination of the four. 

And as yet another facebook birthday creeps to a close, one things is for certain.  You almost always see the obligatory post from the host.  I call this the "posteth with the mosteth."  It inevitably says the same thing.  "Thanks so much for the all the birthday wishes.  I feel so blessed to have such great friends and family."  You tend to get this closing statement from EVERYONE on facebook, regardless of whether they frequent the site.  It seems to be the social norm.  Yawn. 

Alright, newsflash.  This all seems a bit mundane.  So I've decided to kick it up a notch (Emeril Lagasse).



Does anyone remember his brief sitcom on NBC?  I think it aired twice... maybe three times tops.  Regardless, here's a tactical breakdown of my birthday well-wishers.

52 - birthday wishes out of 320 facebook friends.
29 - were from females
21 - were from males
2 - were couples or "entities"
0 - were from family or relatives (don't read into this, my family isn't too hip on the facebook subculture)
7 - live outside my hometown (greater than an hour)
1 - currently lives abroad (perhaps I'm not as "worldly" as I originally projected)
4 - I haven't spoken to in 10+ years
19 - I've never been inside their home
15 - they've never been in my home
0 - I have only the vaguest notion of who exactly you are (hoping for at least 1).

Saf, why do you have to be such a downer?  Well, I'm honestly not trying to rain on everyone's parade (unless maybe it's the annual street fair in McMechon).  In fact, I'm going to do the exact opposite this year!  For someone who rarely posts on facebook, I'm doing the UNTHINKABLE.  The UNIMAGINABLE! The UNBELIEVABLE! The UNPRECEDENTED.

I will be responding to each birthday wish on an individual basis.  This is something I'd be inclined to do... the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing.


And for your convenience, I have copied and pasted all my birthday facebook responses.  Enjoy.  Last names have been omitted for those who are obsessed with privacy concerns yet routinely advertise their existence.


Billie Jo H.
Agreed.  Lunch is long overdue.

William W.
I appreciate the "Erica" reference. There's only a select few who call me that. I have an outstanding 3rd grade class picture of our class. I might post it.

Eric J.
I prefer Bell-Dirty birthday.  Call me maybe.

Tracy DB
The extensive dots culminating in a smiley face is very heartening!

Larry C.
I also share a joyous birthday with the deceased Jerry Garcia.  And to a lesser extent... Dionne Warwick and Bette Midler

Robert S.
Paul McCartney should have wished everyone a "happy birthday" at the Olympics instead of that Hey Jude crapola!  They say it's you birthday.

Dean C.
Yesterday, your sister confronted me at Kroger!  I was left relatively unscathed.  Thank you for the birthday wishes. 

Warren M.
Thanks for listening to me that day at Bob Evans and en route to the airport.  You need to ask our mutual friends (the Chrisagii) to describe our recent encounter.  I'm sure their "take" would be a fascinating one.    

Carrie B.
Was it not just a few days ago we shared a backseat in a stationary vehicle?  I don't want to sound overly romantic but there was definitely fireworks.  FACT!  Thoughts go out to our chauffeur (OMP) and his recently removed appendix. 

Guy B.
Thank you for the heartfelt wishes.  You may end up being the only person with a one syllable first and last name that wishes me a happy birthday.  Also, thank you for "liking" so many things on facebook.  Ranging from the heartfelt to the fairly innocuous.  For example... "It's hotter outside than the Sahara desert !!!" Guy Brown likes this. 

Todd M.
Sometimes I reflect back on those Village days.  It often seemed like a mirage.  But with plentiful screaming children and even louder adults.

Lee n Brian
You had the vision to bestow me with the nickname "Papa" even though I don't have kids.  Metaphorically speaking, you are correct.  You are ALL my children.  I would be honored if you allow me to monitor the wedding for potential stampedes.  We should be safe, but with the Wheeling folk... you never know. 

Jenn D.
Your husband defeated me on the golf course by a mere stroke.  I consider it a "stroke" of good luck as I crumbled on the final hole.  Still, I would like to extend my appreciation for dinner last night (surf'n'turf mayhem) and the accompanying leftovers (I will retain the tupperware until further notice).  And for the duration of my life, I will choose to GRILL brussel sprouts.

Dan S.
You brought much honor to the foosball table during an era I've termed "the early years."  If you ever find yourself in Wheeling, gimme a heads up.  I will inflict a level of punishment that vastly exceeds the humiliation recently endured by the South Korean and Chinese badminton teams.

Shaunna H.
I think we should collaborate on a future lunch review.  How about, and I'm just throwing this out there, a "renegade wilding vegan lunch?"  We sneak into vegetable gardens throughout Woodsdale, Wheeling Park and Elm Grove and sample the produce.   For example... Ohh, that tomato on Paxton Avenue was ripe and juicy.  I added a dash of pepper and a modicum garlic salt.  It was bursting with country fresh flavor.

Marla K.
It has been awhile.  I miss your take on the East Ohio political scene.

Jon R.
I think you should have taken me up on that offer for a coffee table made entirely of milk crates.  Not only would it have cheaper (I was only going to charge you 20 bucks), it would have been a great conversation piece.  Kramer might have said, "It's a milk crate table all about milk."

Brent M.
What an insidious, cryptic birthday wish!  Next time I see you, remind me to grab you a handful of mix cds (those trending metal, of course).

Whitney K.
Whenever I see your name, I'm always reminded of the late Whitney Houston.  You're the only other Whitney I know of.  I would enjoy hearing you sing a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  Perhaps out the crick by the fahr.

Julie F.
I think the last time I saw you was roughly 25 years ago.  You'll be relatively mortified to know I have not changed in the slightest. 

Jodi W.
Remember my suggestion from the Mustang Fair?  Always eager to hear your feedback.  And I know this sounds crazy, but I like the idea of you owning a dog named "Lulu."

Kirsten R.
Whenever I see your name, I'm confronted by the ultimate irony.  I love reuben sandwiches but I detest Thousand Island dressing.  Through life, I've managed to cope.  Here's how.  I just use Frank's Red Hot and a ton of cracked pepper.

Michelle W.
In 1993, I rode shotgun in a car that went from Wheeling > Morgantown > Cleveland.  I've never been so completely terrified for about 5 hours straight.  It wasn't you that drove, but the person did share your last name.

Yvonne M.
Whenever I see your name, I immediately think of you in conjunction with Carmella.  Hair teased up into the heavens.  Now (since you live in California) I'm reminded of the East Coast/West Coast gang/thug turf wars of the 90's. 

Christie M.
I jog by your house about once every 2-3 weeks.  I always have fond memories of the neighbor who put a box in his driveway to prevent people from using it as a turnaround.  Do you remember the time I threatened to kick the box?

AJ Z.
I'm not sure exactly what this says, but so far, it's my favorite birthday wish.

Gordon L.
Thank you Gordonathon.  I had a great idea for your NYC triathlon video but Gigi nixed it. 
Remember the Bordon milk crate I gave you.  The "B" was scratched out and I replaced it with a "G."  You could have used it in the video.  Just say something like, "There comes a time when you have to simply have to "step up" and "elevate" your game!"  The action shot would have been you stepping onto the milk crate.  Good luck to you and the other crazed superhumans.  FYI - from what I understand, the Hudson is relatively germ free.

Michelle T.
I enjoyed last month's abduction.  Hope I didn't freak you guys out with my doomsday prognostications.  Here's an official "hop across the pond London Olympic shout-out" straight from Wheel-town.

Amanda P.
My dear friend Amanda.  You're the closest I have to an actual protege.  Kind of terrifying if you think about it.

Steve N.
My strongest recollection is continually falling asleep in that summer Geology class at West Lib.  Odd that I'd remember it so clearly... as I was continually drifting in and out of consciousness.  Call me sometime if you wish to learn more about that one conversation we had last summer.  A lot of stuff has happened since then.

Scott T.
Without the painful whistling of Scottie, the disruptive noise factor at Heinz Field would be off by 23%.

Heather G.
You're always so pleasant.  Even when accusing me of something I didn't do.  :)

Stacy C.
Thanks so much for commenting on all my blog nonsense over the years.  Your input is always appreciated.

Jess W.
My friend with the sly grin who's always willing to listen to my unabashed rantings.  I still think there should be a Paint'n'Sip dedicated to drawing a Chesapeake Natural Gas Drilling platform.  It's a win-win.

Rob A.
I see your name and think of that band "Athari Teenage Riot."  To the best of my knowledge, I've never heard a single song of theirs.

Mike S.
You could possibly be the wisest hillbilly of them all with an unsurpassed comprehension of all things crick. 

Heather S.
Life without my friend Heather would be like... soccer without Liverpool, football without the Steelers, dome hockey without electricity and foosball without a foosball.

Stephanie W.
We both drive a Subaru.  If you ever want to do a straight-up trade, lemme know.

Rita W.
You make me immediately think of that ZZ Top song... Legs.

Lisa B.
I always think of the infamous, machine-gun laughter.  You have this uncanny ability to instantly elevate the mood, no matter what the circumstance.

Brittany T.
I think everyone should call you Britannica.  It's a compliment.  Totally suits you.

Christina C.
When a warlord uses food as a weapon (mass starvation), we call this "lovin' the famine."

Kerri C.
Congratulations on the engagement!  KC - you remind me of the term "sunshine band."  Always all smiles. 

Brad B.
Another one syllable, first and last name.  Thanks buddy.

Stacey C.
Catwoman,  It's gonna be a hot Saturday night.  We need to unify and run that race.

Sandy K.
Oh snap!  Rest assured, I'm working on big picture stuff.

Robert F.
You might be surprised to know... about a year ago, I wrote a book.

Rick C.
A reference to the Southern Aluminum Finishing ball cap.  Nice. 

Tongue'n'Cheek
Despite your encouragement to have a loud and rockin' birthday, it was actually quite pleasant and contemplative.

Annie M.
You bear no resemblance whatsoever to Little Orphan Annie.  Believe it or not, when I was a little kid, I saw this production on broadway.  " The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" warmed our hearts.

Erikka S.
If you ever wanna talk about... what we talked about... gimme a ring.  Either way, thanks for listening.

Jay D.
May the enthusiasm level of my future birthdays fall somewhere between the projected "lows" of your golf game and the "highs" of your customer service calls.

2 comments:

sonofsaf said...

One other critical stat...

In 2010, I received 54 out of a potential 225 facebook birthday wishes.
That's a response rate of 24%.

In 2012, I received 52 out of 320 facebook birthday wishes.
That's a response rate of 16.25%.

I appears that my "facebook popularity" has diminished by 7.75%. WTF? This constitutes a measurable decline. I may need to execute a Frank Costanza-inspired airing of grievances. "I got a lot of problems with you people."

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that I JUST read down through all of your replies on your Facebook page before I stopped here, and noticed some people call you Eric and same people call you Saf. Hoping I would find a new blog from you, I went into my bookmarks and found your blog and Voila!You blogged about your birthday! With statistics!! But no breakdown of the number of people who call you by your various pseudonyms .Do I have to do everything myself? *Winky face*

DBV