I'm pretty much caught up on my work, so I think I'll use the down time to catch up on my social networking. I'll be checking out what's trending on Twitter, seeing what's new on Tumblr, sharing interests on Pinterest and, of course, heading on over to Facebook, where I can see which friend I'm supposed to buy a Target or Starbucks gift card for today.
There are four births every second in the 21st century, so it's pretty likely that one of your Facebook friends will be celebrating a birthday on almost every day of the year. And since most of them didn't uncheck the preference box where it says to hide your birthday from all the potential stalkers out there, you will be notified each day as to which of these individuals was, however many years ago, brought kicking and screaming into this world.
There was a time not long ago when all you had to do to mark the occasion was leave a brief, cheery message of birthday well wishes on your friend's wall. But now you have even more exciting and guilt-ridden options awaiting you with each Facebook birthday reminder. I mean, what's the matter with you, you cheapskate? There it is, right in front of you: the opportunity to give your friend a super-special birthday gift with a simple click! It's the least you could do, since you were too lazy to buy a greeting card (a what??), and probably forgot the birthday anyway since you are now long accustomed to Facebook taking care of remembering it for you.
And how will you repay Facebook, the social networking giant that only has your best interests at heart, and is constantly seeking new ways to help you connect with the people in your life through commerce that benefits Facebook and its advertisers? How will you repay this altruism, this heartfelt overture of a convenient way to let your friend know that they are at least worth a few bucks in corporate coffee or foreign-made clothing and merchandise?
Don't even think about not clicking on the option to buy that gift card. You are not that small-minded a person, I just know it.
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the web can be found here.