My First AF Birthday

Although today was my birthday, I decided that I wouldn’t take the day off, and we’d celebrate over the weekend. So, after breakfast with Pam (and a very cute card and her own Happy Birthday wishes), I headed into work, equipped as usual. By this I mean, pre-iPhone nerd attire: On the left side of my waist, my Treo smart phone in its beat-up holster. On my right, my iPod in its carrying case, white earphones draped over my shoulder. Both are attached to my belt, and like some gunslinger in the old West, I’m flanked by metal over each hip. Indeed, if I did have have an iPhone, I would have had only one device attached, but I’ll leave that for a future posting.

After I got to work, the little alarms on my Treo started.

I’ll back up. I’m on Facebook. It’s hard to find many people who aren’t these days, as even the most die-hard technophobes seem to have fun on the service. For a somewhat extroverted geek like yours truly, it’s a blast. There’s an option on Facebook to have the site send your cell phone a text message when someone sends you a message or ‘writes on your wall’, a free text field on your own profile page of Facebook. Usually I get 1 or 2 messages a week, or perhaps a few more. Never enough to become a nuisance, so I’ve kept this notification setting on.

I had a busy day, with a few meetings and deadlines to work toward. Nevertheless, all day, every half hour or so, my Treo would vibrate (I set it on vibrate when at work so as not to interrupt meetings). About 30 friends sent me birthday greetings of some sort via Facebook. While I’m not a Facebook junky as some people have admitted that they are (and I rarely check it at work), but even I had to admit that this was a bit unusual.

You might think that I would have been peeved by the steady stream of notifications from my hip, but I wasn’t. We all know that there are times that others think of us. Most of the time we don’t really know for sure. Our ears burn or some friend exclaims ‘I was just thinking of you’, when you call them. But today, I knew that quite a few friends thought of me, perhaps for just a few minutes or so, and wished me a Happy Birthday. Some of them were back in Boston, some were in Japan or San Francisco, and some were here in Vancouver. I have to say that it was really kind of fun getting so many little shout-outs.

So today I experienced my first ‘After Facebook'(AF) Birthday, and it was kind of fun. And to all of those friends who sent me a message today, thanks. I’m thinking of all of you, too.