Electronic greetings!

Birthday cakeSo today’s my birthday and I’m not normally one for proclaiming it to the world, but given that the readership of my blog is fairly select, it’s not going to be reported in The Times or anything.

One of the weirdest things I’ve found is the number of electronic messages of goodwill I’ve had. I’m not talking people sending me e-cards, more the odd websites or other pieces of gadgetry who’ve taken the time out from their busy data processing lives to wish me well.

Our Nintendo DS, on which I have a go at Brain Training, was very keen to tell me I’d passed another annual milestone.

In fact the Japanese doctor was over the moon to wish me well – although at least that makes my Brain Age another year younger than my real age!

Then ‘the Facebook team’ wrote me a little message… ahh, how sweet. How do they manage to have time to remember everyone’s birthdays? And then write the messages… impressive.

I’ve since had another couple of websites ‘reminding’ me of my birthday – sheesh, I’m glad you sent me that email, otherwise I might have spent the whole day in ignorance.

I know it’s an American thing and they think they’re being all clever and personal, but they’re not.

I don’t want an inanimate non-sentient website to sing Happy Birthday to me… if I’m that hard up for it, I can always sing it to myself.

The power of social networking

I went out for drink the other night with someone I’d never met before. With the consent of my other half, I might add.

This person was someone I’ve got to know online, not through a dodgy chatroom, but through similar interests on a social networking website, in this case last.fm.

For me, it just highlights the power of the internet and how you no longer have to venture out on a cold dark night to a smelly village hall, or upstairs room in a pub to meet people who potentially have like-minded interests and you might get on with.

Clearly, there’s no replacement for the enjoyment of meeting friends in a bar and chatting about stuff, but if you don’t know people who share your interest in underwater basket-weaving, there are bound to be people online who do and they may not live in the same country, but you can swap tips and stories.

I must confess that my night out was a bit nerve-wracking. Neither of us were 100% sure what the other looked like and given that we’d never physically spoken, we weren’t actually sure that we’d get on once we sat opposite each other with a pint in our hands.

We needn’t have worried. A cracking night was had and there will hopefully be many more. More power to Web 2.0!