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Tuesday 16 June 2009

Me, that is.

One thing social networks do very well is keep people connected together who may not have been connected at all before. It used to be that only those closest to you would know when your birthday was. Now entering it into your Facebook profile means that all sorts of people that you’re just a little connected to know it.

Some people criticize social networks for replacing significant connection with trivial ones, that they’re the fast food of relationships, edging out meaningful interactions with empty friendship calories. I find them instead to be a supporting structure: the information and connection they offer is a scaffolding on which to build, and can keep you connected with people that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay in touch with.

I woke this morning to find I already had a dozen good wishes from people around the world, including at least one I had never communicated with before. What could be bad about that?

Comments

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Nate Finch 8:14 AM on 16 Jun 2009

Happy Birthday, Ned! Best wishes from a fast food friend! (can I be the milkshake?)

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John Capello 9:19 AM on 16 Jun 2009

Happy Birthday Ned!

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Roberto 10:53 AM on 16 Jun 2009

Happy birthday, Ned! I've been quietly reading your blog for a couple of years, and I wish you the best!

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Massimo Morelli 12:05 PM on 16 Jun 2009

Auguri di buon compleanno.

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Robert K 4:06 PM on 16 Jun 2009

"What could be bad about that?"

Urr... feeling obligated to respond to all of them?

But hey, just because I take the time and energy out of my busy schedule to read your blog and to type a personalized birthday greeting (Happy Birthday you crusty old fart!) don't feel like you need to acknowledge it or anything. Will I complain? No, I'll just suffer in silence.

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Ben Finney 5:40 PM on 16 Jun 2009

Is it wrong that I mis-read the second paragraph as starting:

> One thing social networks do very well is keep people distracted together who may not have been distracted at all before.

and it made perfect sense to me?

Felicitations on your successful journey around our star.

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Jim 9:10 PM on 16 Jun 2009

Happy day!

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susan 5:57 PM on 17 Jun 2009

Love and kisses, Sweetheart, you deserve all the good wishes you get, and more!

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AdSR 2:51 PM on 18 Jun 2009

Happy Birthday - from another lurker! :)

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Grahack 8:25 AM on 22 Jun 2009

About birthdays and "What could be bad about that?",

I coded something to store phone numbers, birth dates, postal addresses and so on...
One handy feature is that I can see who is the next person to wish it's birthday, and her age.
I was thinking: "Nah, too easy. Where is the warmth of remembering one's date with no help?"
Then, after having phoned several people I wouldn't have otherwise, I was rather glad I had this system.

It's quite the same thing here but the other way.

PS: Oh and, happy birthday!

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