Social Media

Closing Your Facebook Wall

It dawned on me yesterday why I never get any happy birthday messages on Facebook. My Facebook wall is closed, meaning no one can post on it.

I probably closed it years back after friends wrote some egregious comments.

We all know Facebook’s algorithm loves birthdays. Each day there’s a mosh pit of birthday messages left on someone’s profile which ranks it to the top of your feed and makes it impossible to ignore. Hell, I even write happy birthday to loose friends I met while studying abroad.

Humans crave attention, especially on our birthdays. We’re hunter gatherers at heart. Yet, I don’t feel one inkling to change the comment block setting on my wall.

Those who really care sent me direct messages. The four messages I received on Facebook meant a lot. My closest friends text messaged me; others called. But my guess is that even my closest friends got the Facebook reminder telling them it was my birthday.

We lean on Facebook to remind us of birthdays the same way we lean on Google for search. The information is there so there’s no need to remember it.

Memory dependency doesn’t make you less lazy. It’s just what we do now. But what does make you responsible are your actions. If it or someone matters to you, you’ll communicate directly.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.