David Plotz gave himself multiple birthdays on Facebook to see if people would mindlessly send him great birthday wishes each time. The results are depressingly unsurprising:
[T]he Facebook fake birthday experiment did end up confirming my worst fears about the network. All too many birthday wishes are autonomic, sent without thought or personal feeling. It’s one thing to remember your friend’s birthday because you took him out a decade ago for his drunken 21st birthday debauch. It’s much lamer to “remember” your friend’s birthday because Facebook told you to.