The momentous occasion was that I actually posted something on my Facebook page. I’m like Punxsutawny Phil. Once a year, I pop out of my hole, put up a Facebook post to say thanks to everybody for the kind birthday wishes, then get spooked and scurry back into my hole for another year.
It’s not that I’m never on Facebook. I’m a troll of the highest order. But I usually just scroll my newsfeed, occasionally popping over to other people’s pages to look at their embarrassing photos. Rarely do I visit my own page.
Which is a roundabout way of saying, “Hey, look, I got Timeline!”
Which is why I never got around to acknowledging individually each of the birthday greetings I’d been sent. I meant to, I really did. But I spent too much time digging around in the basement down there at the bottom of my profile page.
I joined Facebook on June 22, 2008, back when there were only 100 million or so users.
In 2008, 10 people wished me a happy birthday. In the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, not a single person — NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON — posted anything political on my page.
In 2009, 11 people wished me happy birthday. I “married” my husband. I tracked down the first of my high-school friends.
I wrote my “25 Things” list. Remember that meme? “Write a note with 25 random things about yourself.” No. 3: “I really want to learn to play the cello.”
I signed up for a “Craft it Forward” homemade gift exchange. I never made the craft I was supposed to make. I never received the craft I was supposed to receive.
I did do the “Unfortunately” meme. Google “Unfortunately, YOUR NAME” and see what comes up. “Unfortunately, Lisa suffered a 2-set loss in the JP Morgan Chase Open 2nd round.” “Unfortunately, Lisa didn’t say much that I can remember.”
I never got around to the “ABCs of Me” meme.
In 2010, I received my first spam post, my first yearbook invite and other people started posting photos of my kids. I don’t know how many people wished me happy birthday, because the entire last half of 2010 is missing from my Timeline.
In 2011, 37 friends wished me a happy birthday. I started using Facebook for work, and my Timeline started to get kind of boring.
In 2012, 66 friends wished me a happy birthday. Somebody posted a photo of me with my high school choir photo. The feathered hair … the enormous plastic glasses … oh, the humanity. Somebody else posted a photo of me at a college party where a little too much alcohol had been served. (Don’t go looking, I figured out how to hide that photo).
I have resisted the urge to plot on a bar graph the growth of the birthday greetings over five years, mainly because I’m not sure how to account for the anomaly of 2010.
I also don’t have a Timeline cover photo yet. Facebook takes so many other liberties with my personal data, they couldn’t have picked out a photo for me?