Vikki Ortiz Healy got a birthday kiss from her husband, a call from her sister, baked goods from her co-workers. She figured that’d be it. Then she logged onto Facebook—and found more than 60 messages from random acquaintances. She started to suspect that maybe, just maybe, they were "prompted by the computerized birthday reminders available today and not by their own genuine warm thoughts."
Facebook is the worst offender, but Outlook will remind you, too, and Hallmark will even send greetings automatically, so “if you drop dead, your friends will still receive a card from you, you thoughtful corpse.” Healy began asking the well-wishers if they had acted on their own; everyone copped to using electronic reminders but assured her they meant it. Overwhelmed and resigned, she responded to everyone with a single wall post, “kind of a one-click-reaches-them-all ‘Thank you.’”