2017 plus 03: It’s your birthday… when?

Posted: 3 January 2017 in 2017 plus

Once upon a time, I used to use paper diaries; whether they were hardbound diaries or Filofax loose leaf type diaries, they all had one thing in common: around the new year, I had to insert everybody’s birthdays and anniversaries, those that I wanted reminders of, anyway.

The annual tradition of ‘filling out a new diary’ also gave one the opportunity not to copy a birthday or anniuveary across into the new year. Usually it was someone you worked with years back but realised you no longer were in contact with them, hadn’t been for three or four years actually. Or maybe it was the mother of an ex-girlfriend. Or – as you got older – it was the birthday or anniversary of someone who’d died… for whatever reason, you decided there was no reason to cop[y across the date. An easy decision for the most part, the decision not to copy it across. 

And then electronic diaries, and mobile phones with built-in calendars, and loud based agendas, arrived, and suddenly it’s a while different ball game; it’s no longer “do I expend the effort to copy it forward?”, it’s “am I too lazy to delete it?” It’s a harder decision to delete an already existing birthday or anniversary, to take the choice that – for whatever reason – you don’t need to remember this date any more, made even harder by the ability to instantly delete all future references at any point figuring the Year.  . 

It’s a difficult decision for several reasons, not least of which of course is Murphy’s Law: if you delete it, next year you’ll need it for some reason and you’ll have forgotten it. But even leaving that aside, with so many different meanings of ‘friend’ now, with so many social networks, and even more methods of communication and of stating in touch, when precisely do you “lose touch” with someone?

Because the truth is, no one loses touch with anyone these days; one or both of you have taken the decision not to stay in touch: that’s a whole other thing entirely. If you’ve not spoken to, emailed, whatsapp’d, Skyped, texted, seen, snapchatted, hung out with, or messaged someone in the past six months, odds are very heavily that neither of you particularly regret that absence. 

So why, when looking at my birthdays list, are there at least 50% of them that fit that description in the previous paragraph… And why are they still there?

If you know, shout out… because honestly, I don’t think they should be.

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