Facebook keeps reminding me
I'm not an avid user of Facebook but I do have both a personal account and a "john latenightmusings" account there. Because my use is occasional I'm not an expert when it comes to the various features the site has, and I don't have much interest in most of them. However, one of the features I enjoy is the alerts for friends' birthdays.
Assuming the friend has entered their birth date, Facebook will send you a reminder as that date approaches. Oftentimes I will send the friend with the pending birthday a short note congratulating them. I'm not sure everyone wants to be reminded of their birthday, but that is the price you pay for using Facebook and entering your birth date.
Equally important as someone's birth date is their birth year. That's the number most avoid since they don't want even their friends to know how old they are. However, there are many brave souls who proudly add their birth year and wear their age like a badge of courage. Anyway, for everyone's convenience Facebook not only reveals the date but the age of the person saving you the challenge of calculating how old they are.
A while back I got a reminder about a friend's birthday with their age displayed. That led me to check how many of my friends (many classmates and coworkers of years ago) have their birth year as part of their profile information. There were several. As I scanned my friends' birthday information I was shocked to see their ages. Coworkers' ages are for the most part in their sixties; classmates were 74 to 75.
My God, they are in their 60s and 70s? What is going on? Are those ages someone's idea of a cruel joke? Has the Facebook software gone amok and miscalculated people's ages? My wife then reminded me that I am 73 and rapidly closing in on 74. Chronologically I am old. Sure I still have a young mind, but there is no denying my age (and my body).
I have slipped down the slippery slope of aging and have been unceremoniously plopped on my rear end at the bottom. I got my Medicare card nearly a decade ago. I now understand why I use it so much. I now know why so many young people are polite to me. I now know why I enjoy that afternoon nap, and it's not because it's a power nap. My high school days are in the distant past and my professional career is fading as well.
I have concluded that there is only one solution to these sad circumstances (no, not that one). I need to write to all my friends on Facebook and ask them to remove their birth year from their profiles. Without that I won't be reminded that we are all growing old and I can go back to living in ignorant bliss, oblivious to everyone's age, including mine.
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