Do you remember in the old days when we kept track of birthdays on a calendar on the wall? Every year, we would update our calendars, and manually write each and every important event on them and flip through them to check for upcoming occasions. A week or so before someone’s birthday, we bought a birthday card that we sent early so it would reach them in time. It showed that we actually cared because we went out of our way to do it.
Today, technology offers us something easier. Now that mobile phones are as common as landlines, we use them to store calendar entries. We don’t have to obsessively check our physical planners anymore because our phone will alert us if it’s someone’s birthday today. Because we don’t have time to buy and send a card anymore, we send them a text—a thoughtful message from the bottom of our hearts on their special day. And besides… planners and Hallmark are pretty much a thing of the past.
Birthdays used to be special. It makes us feel good that friends and family remember. Because of Facebook being so overeager and divulging every piece of information about ourselves and the people we’ve friended, there goes finding out more about other people the normal way. Facebook will alert us to our friends’ birthdays.
Social media and electronic technology has in some ways brought us closer together, but in other ways has made it difficult to really fulfill our needs for human interaction. It’s time to balance our online and offline lives and nurture friendships and business relationships in both sides.
We’re people. We’re built to interact and be in relationships, not sit in front of the computer all day and all night. It would be nice to start memorizing those birthdays again. Take some time to pick up the phone and actually talk with someone once in a while. And perhaps, even send out cards with handwritten notes that you didn’t copy from the Web. When you learn to put your heart in a card, you can truly make a difference for the people in your life.