By Betsy Brint

I’m 46 today but I still love my birthday.  Actually, I love anyone’s and everyone’s birthdays.  If you are a birthday enthusiast like I am, then you will agree that birthdays are the single best reason to be on Facebook.

Each morning I check the upper right corner of my Facebook homepage to see which of my friends is celebrating a birthday that day.  I like to be among the first of the many well-wishers, and my “Happy Birthday” post usually includes something like, “Eat lots and lots and lots of cake. Have a fabulous birthday!”

Here’s the big question… is it proper etiquette to respond to each and every FB post wishing you a happy birthday?  Or, should you wait until the end of the day and post a general, “Thank you everyone for your birthday greetings – I had a great day, and yes, I ate lots of cake!”

So this morning I tried a quick experiment.  I posted a teaser comment, “Is it good luck if it snows on your birthday… in April?!?!?!?!”  This ensured that even if my friends missed the birthday reminder on their own homepages, they were sure to catch the comment I posted and thus be encouraged to send me a birthday message.  Then, I tried responding to each message.  This got messy.  Friends then felt the urge to respond to my response – and others began to join in.  I spent the better part of my birthday morning trying to keep up with Facebook.

On the one hand, I like my friends.  And I like keeping in touch with them on Facebook.  It feels good to know that even for a few seconds I’m connecting with people from the past 46 years of my life.  On the other hand, it’s kind of a bummer to spend a birthday glued to the keyboard and screen.

I’m not sure what Emily Post, or Miss Manners, or even my mother would dictate in terms of Facebook birthday etiquette.  But I’m making my own ruling:  one morning post is enough.  You know why?  Because I’ve got to get down to the business of being the birthday girl.  And that means eating cake.

Pass the fork, please.  I’ll get back to you tomorrow.