We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.
~ Orson Welles
Being alone is not being lonely. And in fact, if you ask, most people would rather say they want others to “leave them alone” as opposed to having them in their face most of the time. Most people are private and shy, and introvert, and exclusive.
But most people don’t want to be lonely. They dread of not being able to draw on someone else’s energy, of not being loved, of ending their lives in a solitary bed.
Birthdays are usually moments when this internal conflict culminates. In recent memories, none of my friends told me that their birthday was a pure moment of joy and satisfaction. More often than not, it’s always the same story: they will say they don’t want to do something special on that day because it’s depressing. But they’ll be delighted if someone else organizes something for them, or depressed if nothing magically happens.
We say “Happy Birthday” because we’re an empathetic species. Because we care about others even when we want them to leave us alone. Because we intuitively know it’ll impact others as it impacts us.
We all have a birthday. That’s maybe the only single thing we all share as human beings no matter our race, gender, nationality, religion, height and whatnot (OK, maybe our obsession for cats online comes close :)).
So, whether we love it, fear it, resent it, loathe it, or dread it, it always means something when someone tell us “Happy Birthday”.
We thought the birthday experience on places like Facebook deserved more, and that’s why we built our birthday application for Facebook. We hope people will find it to be a smart and useful alternative to make that ritual as easy as it should be, but also as meaningful and thoughtful as it ought to be more.