Natural and Assisted Graciousness

June 19th, 2009 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Today being my natal anniversary, I was pleased but not surprised to have good wishes from my wife. I was surprised from where and how else others came.

HB from Fark

My dawn greeting came in email, first from Bike Forums.  I had totally forgotten that registration asked birth date. Likewise, when I looked at Fark, I saw a greeting. As I recall, that site asks you to verify your age by birth day, month and year because of some risque content. They are savvy in using it to personalize the experience.

Oddly though, social-networking icon Facebook did not program that into its database and interface. While you don’t have to list a birth date there, many including I do. You’d think they’d be clever enough to intrude in that friendly a way, being social and all.

However, on my FB wall, a friend and an acquaintance sent greetings.

Perhaps the real surprise and an indicator of the state of the greeting technology came at the West Roxbury Y. At the desk, we wave our cards by a scanner to beep into the gym. Maggy was across the entry area but looked at the computer screen I could not see. “It’s your birthday! Happy birthday, Mike!,” she said wide-eyed and enthusiastic.

I have no doubt that the monitor prompted her. Yet, I am also sure she was sincere. When I arrived after my surgery for my broken leg, she was always the most interested and aware of changes — walker to crutches to crutch to cane to just limping. She commented and asked.

So there you have it, boys and girls, wise and oblivious uses of technology as social aids. I don’t mind that people get a tap on the shoulder reminding them to use stereotypical social lubrication.  In fact, it’s a pleasant aspect of modern life. The automated online ones? Meh. Yeah for the personal greetings.

Happy birthday to me.

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