A few weeks ago, I celebrated a birthday.
And I got the requisite Facebook “happy birthday” posts on my wall. A bunch of them. Wonderful (thank you to those who left a note!). We all know the feeling.
Now, I’m going to preface this next comment by saying I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not playing the victim card. I’m just making an observation to make a point.
On my actual birthday, do you know how many people called me to wish me a happy birthday?
One person (thanks Andrea Kopfmann!).
I’m not sure what that says about me as a friend. Better not answer that question.
But, one person.
One person took one minute to call me and say “happy birthday–hope you’re having a great day.”
Again, I say this not go garner sympathy (be honest, you don’t care that much anyway :). But, to make a point: We’re officially over-relying on Facebook and texting for birthday wishes.
And, it’s made us lazy friends.
BUT, this represents a HUGE opportunity for us all.
We can make a BIG difference during a very important day of everyone’s year.
A few easy ideas:
It literally takes less than a minute if you leave a message (probable). If the birthday girl/boy does answer the phone, it’s then a wonderful 5-7 minute conversation. And a great opportunity to catch up with a friend.
Take them out to lunch
You might be surprised how many people don’t have lunch plans on their birthdays. Dinner plans–yeah, folks usually have those on their birthday. But lunch or breakfast? I doubt it. Alternative idea: Call to wish them a happy birthday and offer to take them to lunch in the next month.
Send a fun gift to their office
Thanks to Facebook, we now know more about our friends and acquaintences than we ever have. We know what kinds of music they listen to. We know where they like to eat. We know what they like to do in their free time. Use that information to your advantage! Drop off a gift card to your friend’s favorite coffee shop. Or, what about a gift card to their favorite restaurant? Doesn’t have to be a big amount. But, if you deliver it during the day, at their office, you’ll make a big impression. Believe me.
Let me re-iterate, I’m not here today to give a big guilt trip. Heck, I’m just as guilty as you. I need to call my friends more on their birthdays. It’s far too easy to just send a simple “happy birthday” message on FB and think that’s good enough.
It’s not good enough.
We’re better than that.
YOU’RE better than that.
You’re a better FRIEND than that.
So, be a better friend.
Call people on their birthdays.
Send an unexpected gift.
Take a friend out to lunch.
Believe me, it’ll make an impression.