New Facebook holds my fake birthday hostage

Lenny Neslin

Lenny Neslin

I could probably get away with having 10 birthdays in a year thanks to Facebook.

When the 21st anniversary of the day I said hello to the world came this summer, hundreds of friends wrote on my Facebook wall. Of course, it was the little red notifications that really made my day special.

But after a long day of page designing, writing, without sleep or food, my staff decided to pull a prank on me Tuesday night. I found out the hard way when someone who I haven’t spoken to since freshman year posted, “happy birthday.” I immediately thanked the person, then posted on my wall saying I got hacked.

Someone on my staff had changed my birthday after I left my Facebook open on a communal computer.

Bear in mind I’m using the new Facebook “Timeline” profile that features a wide “cover photo” in addition to a small inset profile picture and a two-column wall, which now features posts from several fooled Facebook friends.

The new Facebook makes sending birthday wishes easier than ever, and makes birthday hacks even more detrimental than before. Now, users don’t even have to go to my profile (to at least see what I’ve been up to lately) to say, “Happy birthday, Lenny! 🙂 Hope it’s awesome.” People just post on my wall right from the main news feed page (I think it’s still called “Home” — Facebook hasn’t told me otherwise).

One thing I had not discovered in my few days of using the new Facebook was how difficult it was to change my personal info, especially my day of birth. When I finally found out how to edit my birthday, I attempted to click the month and days but they were in gray. There was a link below that read, “Why can’t I change my birthday?” So I clicked that and was greeted with this idiotic first instruction:

To edit your date of birth: “Click the Edit Profile (Update Info) button at the top of your profile (timeline).” So I went to my profile (timeline, apparently) and clicked the “Update Info” button, as instructed. This, unsurprisingly, brought me back to the exact same page I was at before, the general info page. So I clicked “Edit” next to “Basic Info” and my birthday was in gray — again. Hence the vicious cycle that now has my fake birthday, Sept. 28, set in stone. Even still.

For the record, my birthday is July 14. Send me alcohol, flowers, love notes or whatever floats your boat when that day rolls around.

I’ve learned my lesson: Don’t leave a public computer logged into your Facebook. Or else … you may never get your birthday back. My mom may just have to make a call to Mr. Zuckerberg.