In The News

Thu 27 Jul 2017

Beware of Birthdays – LinkedIn Style

sorry written on a typewriter

Do you have a birthday coming up? Do you enjoy birthdays as much as I do?

Well let me share my birthday experiences this week LinkedIn style. I always take a day off on my birthday and love to celebrate with friends and spoil myself – this year was no exception.

On my birthday morning, I did log in to briefly to check my emails and watched as literally hundreds (in excess of 300+) emails came into my inbox from LinkedIn connections wishing me Happy Birthday. All of these people had checked their updates for the day and clicked on people having birthdays and decided to send me a message. Some people added an extra line, but the bulk, just hit send with a Happy Birthday message.

At least 50% of these people were people I knew I had personal contact with in the last 12 months, either phone call, messages, texts or face to face meetings. The interesting thing was that I actually received phone calls from friends who had seen the message and thought they would phone me and wish me all the best.

Fast track to the day after my birthday when I am back in my hot seat working. I pride myself on clearing or aiming to clear my inbox every day, but not that day. As I looked at all of these birthday wishes and then logged on to LinkedIn where those 300+ messages were duplicated in my LinkedIn message section, I wondered exactly what I would do with these 600+ messages?

I knew I had options, just delete them, save them in folders, reply with a thank you, etc. etc. The hard copy birthday cards that I had received took pride of place on my book shelf (yes I am still a softie for a birthday card) and they will stay there for at least a few weeks but inbox messages, that’s another kettle of fish.

Finally, I decided to start responding with a general message, “Thanks for your wishes, I had a brilliant birthday”. I have to admit I did cut and paste the message and this exercise still took me a number of hours. However, who would have ever thought that at least 50% of the people I was responding to would send me a thumbs up message so I had another couple of hundred messages hitting my inbox and my LinkedIn inbox. I had created a multiplying monster.

So, a word of warning – if you sent me a Happy Birthday greeting via LinkedIn and I did not respond, it was just that I was overwhelmed with those hundreds of messages and stopped responding. It wasn’t that I did not appreciate them.

Next birthday? – well I have a year to think about what I will do with my LinkedIn birthday wishes.

What do you do?

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