Birthdays, Gifts and Social Media

So yesterday was my birthday, there was no cake, but lots of laughter and loved ones were part and parcel of the celebration as much as possible. There was also a dress, Chinese food, some James Bond kinda manoeuvres (don’t ask), Hugh Jackman (one of my all time crushes), conversations and a humungous steak! Yup, you guessed it, it was fun and I lapped up all the love.

Despite all that going on I still had time to notice one or two things about how friends shared their thoughts. I got six text messages… those things we sent on a regular basis before the messaging apps became de rigueur (the only one that counted was from a friend, the banks made up the rest). Quite a number of phone calls, I also missed a few. So there were people that used ‘old technology’ for want of a better way to phrase it to wish me a happy birthday. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and without this mode of communication we would be starved of the necessary fuel to keep relationships going.

You understand what I mean because making phone calls and sending text messages is the best way to communicate with some people. It’s essential you call your parents, spouse, boss, team members, friends and other important relationships in your life. Often enough business is conducted primarily on these fronts with any other method used e.g. emails as a supportive alternative and not the focus.

The next set of messages I received were via social media platforms i.e. messaging and networks. My whatsapp was busy all day and far into the night. My Facebook wall had over hundred posts and I read each and every single one. So ‘new technology’ is the king and like we all know social has changed life as we know it and continues to do so. I’m not analysing the pros and cons today just a few things that struck me, so stay with me.

Sending messages through chats or social networks like Facebook and Instagram is default for most people now. Strangely enough I wondered why a relative hailed me on those platforms when they also had my mobile number. Would that not have been easier for them I though? Eventually, I realised that convenience is the most glaring reason why they did what they did. I believe since the same phone has every app we use to stay connected at our fingertips sending a message with that might make more sense for them.

For me Facebook and Instagram are public and should only be used by those not too intimately acquainted with you or that can only otherwise use that as the best way to communicate with you. Messaging is more private and a means for more direct communication and thereby the opportunity to be more intimate. Unless you’re in a group and even then it’s not as public depending on the purpose for it in the first place. However, every interaction is unique and guided by various factors which also affected the means by which birthday greetings were sent yesterday.

It’s a favourite pastime of mine to ponder over things and yesterday was another day in which I got to once again witness the vagaries of humanity. It was tremendously enjoyable and once again showed me how diverse and adaptable we are as a species. Once more I would like to thank everyone that showed their regard and care for me by one means or the other…I do not take it for granted.

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