How Should I Reply to “Happy Birthday” Messages on Facebook?

Happy Birthday

Question

When people send me birthday wishes on Facebook, do I reply to them? If so, how should I do it?


Answer

Yes, when a birthday rolls around, people are often flooded with messages from friends. It’s great but what’s the etiquette?

You have a few options:

  • Do nothing but later (maybe at the end of the day or tomorrow) post something thanking everyone
  • Reply to each person individually
  • Like each person’s post

In general, when you like a post, you’re sort of ending the conversation because you’re not replying and starting or keeping a conversation going. That’s sort of a general rule on Facebook that can be used here.

You could do a mixture of things if you want… like them all and reply to some.

What you do comes down to your personal preference and it may also depend on how many friends you have and how much time you have on your birthday.

If you have a lot of friends and you’re completely flooded with happy birthday messages, it’s completely reasonable and justified to not like or reply to very many posts and just thank everyone at once. People will see how many you’re getting and they’ll understand.

It is nice to reply to each person individually for thinking of you on your special day. I find it’s nice when I get a personal reply on someone’s birthday. Doing this to everyone could be something you regret… I wouldn’t but for some people, this might be an issue. It might start up lots of conversations that you don’t have time for.

What Not to Do

Some people say they post something on someone’s wall when they send you a birthday wish. That’s not good etiquette because you’re starting a new message thread that way and when you post on someone’s wall, everyone sees it. It’s kind of a big deal to do that. Their wall is their profile, basically. Don’t do this. Instead, reply to the message they sent you.

Don’t do nothing. At the very least, you should post one message to everyone, thanking them for all the birthday wishes that were sent to you. The next level up would be to like every post sent to you. The next level up from there would be to reply to some and then finally, reply to all of them.

And you may want to make sure you reply individually to family members.

If You Don’t Want Birthday Posts

If you don’t like people sending you birthday wishes, then you can simple choose to not have your birthday published on Facebook and nobody will know or get notified when it’s your birthday. Do this by going into your profile and editing it.

To do this:

  1. Click on the “Update Info” button on your profile page
  2. Go to “Contact and Basic Info”
  3. Go to your birthday, then click on the “Edit” button next to it
  4. Set who can see your birthday – it can be set to the options available there

Birthday settings

Birthday privacy settings


Got More Questions?

Did this help you? If you have more questions, comments or advice, please leave them in the comments area below.

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