I wish everyone would take a few moments and do something interesting for their close friends and family on social media. We don’t have to spend hours of our cramped free time to surprise someone – and we don’t have to do it every time someone has a birthday or special occasion.
Below is an example of a typical FB birthday post I did. I took an old, familiar joke and personalized it. I also made a picture and while this particular one isn’t multi-layered, it used a running joke I have with the birthday girl. My friend resembles Helen Mirren, so I tagged her in the photo to further confuse friends and family. I usually don’t stress about getting it perfect, or if there are errors. If the effort and thought don’t shine through, it was going to fall flat anyway.
Post: “Since it is Marilyn Fisher’s birthday, I thought it best to deviate from the expected trite social media post. In order to pay homage to the birthday anniversary of Marilyn, it seemed more appropriate to share a personal anecdote, one that demonstrates her level of personal warmth and humor.
I first met Marilyn a few years when she and Larry resided in Northwest Arkansas.
I had left my car parked on Holcomb Street so that I could walk along the tree-lined sidewalks of Maple Avenue, leading to the hospital in Springdale. It was a beautiful, serene spring late morning and I was admiring the quaint houses, decorative fences and the variety of birds.
About 100 yards along Maple Avenue, I looked up and saw a tall, older gentleman casually walking along the same side of the road as I was. His hands were in his pockets. He was wearing a bowling hat, a bright green shirt that had the name “Larry” printed above the pocket, and I could hear him humming the first verse to the “Ukulele Song,” his feet stomping to the rhythm in his head.
As he approached me, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and turned toward the wooden spruce fence on my side of the road, peering fixedly at it.
I listened intently.
I heard someone softly chanting “Thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen.”
My curiosity had gotten the best of me, so I cautiously moved past “Larry” and toward the wooden fence along Maple Avenue. I could see a hole in the fence slightly higher than waist level. Again, the soft whisper of “thirteen, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen” could be heard over the trees rustling overhead.
I leaned down as close as I could to the fence, trying to look directly through the hollowed out hole in the fence. The second I peered through the hole, a finger darted through it and poked me right in the eye!
Then, the chanting changes to “fourteen, fourteen, fourteen, fourteen.”
I hear Larry howling with laughter behind me.
That is how I met Marilyn (from beyond the fence) and her husband Larry for the first time.
It’s how I also discovered how Marilyn used her lunch breaks at work, trying to get to “thirty” with their well-choreographed ruse by the sidewalk fence.
She still calls me “Fourteen” to this day.” (End of post.)
In the comments, I added specific details about when the fake picture was taken, the circumstances, etc. Most people have a great sense of humor; even if they do not, they often play along in the ridiculousness of the story and details.
All I ask is to consider telling a personal story or be a little creative. Social media is only as good as what we put into it. If you are nervous about the risk of not being funny, or worse, not being engaging, don’t be. Trying to make personal connections through laughter or sharing is almost never a mistake. If you are nervous about sharing on social media, it might not be the best idea for you to use it except as a connection tool.