Say what you will about Facebook – good, bad, indifferent – there is one thing that can’t be denied. It sure brightens up a birthday.

This past week, I’ve wished many people on my friends list a happy birthday. Some of them I’ve known for years, some I’ve only met once. Even though I may barely know that person, I do know it really brightens their day.

I know this, because it brightened my last birthday.

On my last birthday, I turned 36. When I logged into Facebook, I saw that I already had a lot of birthday wishes – the first one started at 12:01a! And throughout the day, the birthday wishes kept coming in. Friends, family, acquaintances, and even people I’d either met once or never met in person wished me happy birthday.

I had internet on my phone for a little while. I’d always post birthday wishes from my phone. For a couple of weeks, whenever I’d post something from my phone, there’d be an issue and it would post about 20 times. The birthday people seemed to get a kick out of one guy posting “Happy Birthday!” twenty times on their wall. I say I think, because no one ever told me that it was annoying.

I don’t know how the younger people feel about it, maybe they don’t really put a whole lot into it, but I know I really smile when I see a page full of Happy Birthday!’s when I log in. To me, it’s way better than getting a card in the mail. Maybe that’s because I usually only got a card or two in the mail growing up. My birthday is just before Thanksgiving, so most of the time, I’d get my cards and presents at the Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not as bad as having a Christmas birthday, but it usually meant no cards in the mail.

Oddly enough, there are no birthdays listed on my Facebook page today. Sort of odd, because I had 3 friends who had birthdays on Sept. 11, and two yesterday. Usually there’s one, maybe two a day, so I take the few seconds it takes and write a “Happy Birthday!” to whoever it is. And if I know them fairly well, I try to make it a bit personal or funny. For instance, a friend of mine’s last name is “Faina” so I wrote, “Have a FAIN-tastic Birthday!” Cheesy, but I’m pretty sure he appreciated it.

So if you’re logging into Facebook and see that there are birthdays listed, take those few moments and post a quick “Happy Birthday” on their wall. And know that they’ll smile just as big as you did when you got the same treatment! Oh, and while not really recommended, posting multiple birthday wishes isn’t a bad idea either.