You see? This is the why Facebook birthday wishes are little more than empty husks of what was once a kind and generous act: wishing someone a happy day of celebration on the day they were born. It’s become such a mindless, effortless task that we do it with hardly a thought for what we’re doing and what it used to mean. We see it’s someone’s birthday, and we wish them a happy one. Have you talked to that person since the last time you wished them a happy birthday? No? Does it matter? Nope! At least not with how things are now.

Sure, getting a stream of “Happy Birthday!!1!one” messages on your wall may make you feel important and liked, but, this just in: it doesn’t mean a damn thing. The only thing it’s indicative is that a bunch of what-could-be random strangers saw it was your birthday in their feed and took 6 seconds to tell you as much. Heck, Facebook even prompts you to do just that now. What? You don’t really know this person? Who cares! Wish them a happy birthday even though they could die in a fire tomorrow and you wouldn’t skip a beat!

So, to add fuel to the brightly burning fire of empty wishes, you have the ability to automate the entire damn, fake process. I think I’m going to start shifting my birthday around the week of my actual birthday. At least that way I know those who wish me a happy one are doing so because they really want to, and not because Facebook or some other social site is insisting on it.

Alas, if you’re on Facebook and see it’s someone’s birthday, at least make your birthday wish a little creative. Show them you took the time to give them a personalized greeting and put some thought into them on this day.