Google’s Birthday Gift

Google's Birthday Gift for Me

I was treated to this image yesterday when I went to Google. I think it is kind of ugly, but I always like seeing this sort of thing. It means that someone is having a birthday, and even though it is rarely someone I haven’t heard of, it’s nice to be reminded. So I clicked on it and it took me to my Google+ About page. For a moment, I figured it was some computer screw up. But, slow as I am about this stuff, I eventually realized that Google was just telling me that it knew that it was my birthday.

I went to Google on a browser where I wasn’t longed into Google+ plus, and sure enough: it was the same old Google page. I am not, it appears, a star. Still, I think it is kind of a nice thing for Google to do. It is all part of the Google+ treatment. On my birthday, Google+ sends out an alert to all of my several dozen followers that it is my birthday, offering them an easy way to wish me a happy birthday. And pretty much no one does. I don’t take this as an insult.

When I get a reminder of someone else’s birthday, I’m very reticent to offer them a birthday wish. It seems a bit like stalking. If I don’t really know them well, what does it say? Just the same, when I do wish people happy birthdays, they are always gracious. What’s more, even relatively famous people seem fairly shocked by the birthday wish. Recently, I wished Martin Longman a happy birthday and he was clearly pleased and surprised. So even an established writer like Longman doesn’t seem to be getting a bunch of people wishing him a happy birthday.

The other side of it is that privacy people might freak out. But I suspect that they would be the kind of people who wouldn’t provide Google+ with their birthdays anyway. I’m all for privacy myself, but for a decade now, most of my personal information has been widely known. And I generally assume that everything I say and do is being recording by the NSA, DEA, and any other organization that is concerned with loose cannons like myself — regardless of how committed to peace we may be.

The only thing that I wish is that Google would take the time to create a better image to celebrate my birthday. I’m very simple — one might even say boring — in my preferences for delicious birthday treats. Vanilla ice cream really is the most wonderful. As for cake, I like a light chocolate with vanilla frosting. And folks: why do I see canned frosting at the super market? Frosting is extremely easy to make. It’s simple: powered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. It couldn’t be easier — or more delicious. But what do we get in the Google image? I don’t know, but it doesn’t look very tasty.

I don’t mean to complain. But next year, I hope that Google offers me more appealing treats for my birthday. I mean, there are seven cakes there and not one looks especially tasty. Maybe I’ll get Andrea to create a better one for me next year. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

2 thoughts on “Google’s Birthday Gift

  1. Happy (late) birthday!

    Oh, you know how terrible the NSA, DEA, etc., are at actually processing all the data their surveillance computers mine from things like Google. They probably have some random word-flagging software which short-lists you for someone who might be interested in helping puppet governments sell drugs.

    • Thanks. One less year until I’m released from this prison of existence!

      All that data mining reminds me of a time I was working the graveyard shift at a gas station. They had 29 cameras — clearly set up to monitor the employees, not the customers. At one point, a woman who worked during the day stole $500, so they went through hours of video to catch her. She was fired and that was that. But they also took the opportunity to check up on me. They found that my breaks were too lengthy. Not that I wasn’t getting my work done. Anyway, I figure on the day that the government comes to get me, they will have a long list of things I did wrong. I figure the reason they don’t shut down Guantanamo Bay is that they are waiting for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.