Do you actually know when your friends were born? Or do you just do what Facebooks tells you to do?
A few days ago my friend Mathias decided it would be funny to change his birthday on Facebook to the next day, the 28th of November. That's a shift of nearly six months compared to his real birthday! What started as a funny idea without any intentions grew into a quite interesting experiment with roughly 350 participants alias friends.
So what happened? 65 poor souls really thought the 28. of November is Mathias birthday.
Although some wall posts clearly stated that the birthday date is not correct people kept posting their congratulations. And others even drank a beer on his birthday party 6 months ago but still weren't able to spot the trap.
So what do we learn? Depending on the definition of a friend Facebook should probably use the term "Contacts" instead of "Friends". And an old school, paper based, birthday calender like my father uses is still the best solution: No fake birthdays and it's more likely that you will call your friend instead of a simple wall post.
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