"Dear friends, please do not wish me 'HBD' on Facebook. Ever."

Dear Facebook friends.

We need to talk about ‘HBD’. Not to be confused with the virus (that’s HPV). I’m not talking about the three Scrabble letters that will consecutively get you four, three and two points.

I’m talking about the acronym formerly known as “happy birthday”.

No vowels. No “happy”. Not even “b’day”, which was abbreviated enough but still kinda cute in its own way. “Happy birthday” is now a three-letter word. It’s not even a real acronym: ‘HB’ would be technically correct.

Done with you, HBD. Image: Adam Bub

But this is the internet, and the internet cares not for mouthfuls like "appy" and "irthay". "HBD" is enough.

"Happy birthday" with a series of cake, champagne and love heart emojis means a lot more than "HBD".

"Happy birthday" with an "xoxoxo" is still worth more than "HBD".

This meme is worth more than "HBD":

Thor would never wish you 'HBD'. Image: QuickMeme

"HBD" is what you write when:

  1. Your fingers are lazy.
  2. Your care factor is zero, or thereabouts.
  3. You've had a creative brain fart.
  4. You're a with-it internet-literate millennial with a busy life of avocado toasts, bubble tea and Netflix shows to tell everyone else to watch.
  5. You're in a particularly passive-aggressive mood.
  6. All of the above.

Or according to the Urban Dictionary's user-generated definition: "The way you wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook if you don't like them, sometimes in hopes to stir up a Facebook fight. Example:  Oh I hate that b----, i'm just gonna write on her wall HBD."



Writing an original "happy birthday" message is hard.

I'll admit it, I've dropped the ball on creative birthday messages. I spent my childhood (and some teenage years… and maybe even my early 20s) hand-making birthday cards for family members. Early in my current relationship, I made my partner a Cookie Monster card.

Sadly, my arts and crafts skills have fallen down the wayside as life has gotten busier. But never will "HBD" invade my cards. NEVER.

"HBD" has crept into gift cards now too. Argh. Image: Etsy.

As our worlds move faster, so do our gestures. It doesn't feel like that long ago when a text message was the impersonal way to say "happy birthday" instead of making a phone call. Now, a text message is old-school.

And for those who aren't on Facebook, birthdays can almost go by unnoticed. For some people I know, this is THE. ULTIMATE.

But let's flip it for a second. Isn't it just nice that someone even took a precious moment to type 'HBD' on your feed? Doesn't it mean that they still care, but just don't have enough time to keep up with EVERY Facebook birthday?

Listen: Meet the dad throwing a birthday party for all the kids who’ve never been invited. (Post continues.)

As one of my colleagues asked me, "Would you rather get no happy birthday message at all?"

You know what? A Chris Hemsworth meme will do just fine.

Yours faithfully,

The 'HBD' warrior.

Twitter: @TheAdamBub Insta: @adambub

To 'HBD' or not to 'HBD': That is the question. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!