Happy Birthday Social Media

When I was a kid, it seemed like my birthday would never come.

I knew a few of my friend’s birthdays, but not very many of them. If I didn’t get invited to their party, there was little chance I would know.

Now, thanks to social media, we know when everyone’s about to have a birthday.  It’s information we can leverage to encourage those around us.

Every morning, I wake up to a list of opportunities in my inbox.

There is an email from my good friends at Facebook letting me know which of my friends of birthdays. In case, I didn’t get the email, there is a reminder right on my home page. In case, I missed the home page reminder, I get a lit up reminder in my Notifications. Thanks, Facebook.

So what can we do with Facebook’s cue?

For me the answer is to encourage people through a specific, well-thought-out birthday greeting.

For each person that pops up on my screen, I try to take a long minute and write them a message that:

a) shares a favorite memory or attribute that I feel makes them special.

b) includes a blessing for the coming year.

Sometimes this is a fairly generic blessing or wish, while other times, I’ll feel some specific words come to mind to share with them.

This is easiest to do for those we know best, but even for those we are not as close to, we can hunt for the words to say that will make them smile.

When I do take this time, it reminds my friends that they are unique and important to me.

It also gives me an opportunity to share my greatest gift(encouragement) with the world around me.

What special things do you do for your friends on their birthdays?

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If you like this post about encouragement then you might enjoy my novel, The Biographer, where encouragement plays a large role in the characters interactions.

 

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