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.