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Wide White: A Facebook birthday experiment

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Facebook birthday experiment

A friend and I were wondering how many people would notice if you changed your birthday on your Facebook profile within a month of your actual birthday.

Since my birthday was last month, I got to be the guinea pig.

Total birthday wishes in December: 18
Total birthday wishes in January: 18
Total people who wished me "Happy Birthday" twice: 5
Total people who figured out something was up: 9

I was really surprised there weren't more duplicates. It also showed me who does and doesn't know my real birthday (ironically, I know the birthdays of 3 of the 18 people from January).

Our original experiment involved switching the birthday each month or every other week to see how long it would take some of those people to figure it out, but after doing it once, there's no way you'd get me to do it again! There's attention you get on your birthday that you should ONLY get on your birthday, and if you get it on any other day, it just feels wrong - sort of like you're violating the attention people give to such an occasion.

But there you go Mitch, we now know what happens when you lie about your birthday on Facebook.


Anonymous Aunt Kari declared,

I am proud to say that I didn't get tricked (however, my husband did...hmm...doesn't he get a grace period since he's new to the family?). I know my nephews birthday and always will. I woke up in my bunk bed, with my favorite yellow blanket with my mom telling me the news when I was in 5th grade. It was VERY exciting and I told everyone. :) I love you Joey! Aunt Kari PS Great experiment...I wonder if I would have been able to trick you?!

1/16/2009 6:44 AM  
Blogger Keithslady declared,

I love it, Joey. Someone asked me the other day if your birthday was on January 14, so maybe I aided one of the nine.

Kari, I highly doubt you'd have fooled him, he's pretty good with those things. I don't ever expect him to miss his wife's special dates.

1/16/2009 8:17 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Aunt Kari - June 10, 1974. (I have to admit that I get a little confused between you, Keelie, my Grandma and Nicole as to which two are June 10th and which two are June 12th...)

Mom - I'm sure the forgetfulness will happen. I already forgot about the Easter basket last Easter...I guess it comes with the non-Easter territory growing up. Who makes a holiday with a date that varies by MONTHS?!?

1/16/2009 9:32 AM  
Blogger Dana declared,

I heard about your experiment through Nicole...if I had facebook, I wouldn't have been fooled...but props to you!!!

1/19/2009 7:47 PM  
Blogger Keelie declared,

Oh crap...was I one of the people to wish you happy birthday on the wrong day?! 'Cause I totally know when your birthday is! There are a few cousins I can remember!:)

1/22/2009 11:09 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Yes, you were one Keelie. And you made me feel bad because it was such a good birthday wish!

And you're June 10th, 1980, if I remember correctly. Makes it nice that both you and my Aunt Kari are the same day!

1/22/2009 11:23 AM  
Blogger Keelie declared,

How embarrassing! Just count it for December, when I obviously wasn't paying attention! Truly, I totally know when your birthday is! And yes, mine is Dec. 10 - good job!:)

1/24/2009 11:26 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Wait, DECEMBER 10th? I hope you got confused, because I could have sworn it was JUNE 10th.

1/24/2009 11:44 AM  

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