Are Facebook birthdays the best or worst things that ever happened to social networking?

Two weeks after David Plotz used a Slate essay to rail against “exclamation-point-polluted birthday wishes” on Facebook, the piece has drawn more than 9,000 “likes” and a response from no less of a heavyweight than New York Times columnist Virginia Heffernan, who argues birthday wishes from friends and “friends” alike are a “cleverly gracious component of the digital universe.”

Just when the death knell started to sound for the birthday debate, an Atlantic Wire blog post on Monday renewed it, once again splitting people into two basic camps, according to Twitter posts on the latest article about Facebook birthday greetings:

* People like Whitten Maher, who agree with Plotz and feel birthday greetings from a high-school chemistry-class lab partner you haven’t spoken to in 20 years is further proof that “Facebook’s increasingly crappy signal-to-noise ratio is chasing people away.” Whitten linked to an article in The Atlantic.

*Or people like Bryan Castañeda, who asked “Will the media EVER get tired of hand-wringing over social networking? #pointlessarticleoftheday”.

Few of them seem to support Heffernan’s view that Facebook is “the best thing that’s ever happened to birthdays.”

Massachusetts-based writer John Zorabedian may have the best idea, which he explained when he retweeted the Atlantic blog post: “I don’t share my birthday on Facebook.”

Photo by jo-h

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