My birthday and Dad’s birthday happened at the same time this month. Dad is my Andy Kaufman alter ego, though I will never admit that Dad has any resemblance to me! We each celebrated our birthdays in our own ways. For me, Social Media added a dimension to my birthday that was wholly unexpected.
Dad is the STAR of his own comic strip while I am its writer and Michael Voogd is its incredible illustrator. Dad shares billing with Son who bares a distinct resemblance to my younger son, who co-created the comic strip with me when it was originally called, It’s a Tech World After All.
Note: Because I Said So is now available only on BruceSallan.com but is being offered to newspapers and other web sites. Please ask your local paper to finally update their comics page with this timely strip. Below is one of our favorite ones.
I often speak about the value of Social Media and the importance of Social Media in helping Dad and Mom be the best parent they can be. Social Media is where your children live, after a certain age. And that “certain age” is getting younger and younger.
At the Apple Store recently, I spoke with the mother of a toddler who was getting an iPad for her 14-month old baby! She said many of her friend’s babies had begun using them before they had begun to speak!
So, there is no time to lose for parents to familiarize themselves with Social Media and the many emerging technologies that they may have been slow to adopt. This doesn’t even include the incredible value it will provide to each one of you in your own lives, on top of its value to your parenting.
My birthday proved to be a dramatic example of its personal value and one that took me completely by surprise. Dad, of course, is always in his own (cartoon) world and is more or less oblivious to almost everything!
I have a daily Social Media routine. It is quite consistent and quite enjoyable. Occasionally, it becomes mildly burdensome but most of the time it just provides joy and a wonderful outlet for my non-stop desire to ramble, talk, share, and learn.
Every morning begins with checking my e-mail, tweets, and updating things on my web site and the A Dad’s Point-of-View Facebook Page. While I also have a Facebook (personal) profile, I don’t tend to go there as frequently.
On my birthday, no different than any other day to me, I followed this daily ritual. First, I read, deleted, and/or replied to my e-mail. I updated the News of the Moment on BruceSallan.com, which I do each morning. I posted my morning post on my Facebook Page (an afternoon one is posted every week-day). I checked a couple of other web sites that I routinely use.
Then, I went to my Facebook profile page. What I saw actually brought tears to my eyes. What I saw were 123 birthday greetings! It took refreshing the page several times to be able to actually read them all. I was so moved, I couldn’t move!
Some of these messages were simply, “Happy Birthday, Bruce.” Others included an image or a link. And many had something extra to say about my role as an advocate for dads. EVERY one of these people took a moment out of their busy day to wish me well.
I’d gotten similar greetings in past years, but not near as many. This past year has been a big growth year for me via Social Media and the number of friends and followers I had had grown exponentially.
The rest of my day was equally terrific as my boys each gave me a hand-made card. My younger son, who co-created the comic strip with me, gives me a personal drawing each year. This year he gave me his own different comic strip with the REAL me as its star. My older son, who had already written my radio show theme song AND made a music video of it, gave me a card with a very sweet message that surely isn’t common for an older teen to do!
My wife gave me probably the best and most generous birthday gift I’d ever received. It was a genuine Tourbillion watch. We had seen this specific watch several months prior when we’d gone to the jeweler that had made her wedding ring. Alan Friedman, our wonderful jeweler, explained the story of this watch and I just swooned. It was way beyond what I was willing to spend. Evidently not for my wife.
The day concluded with a birthday dinner in which my wife made my favorite meal. It consisted of her slowly baked, melt-in-your-mouth, short ribs, her macaroni-and-cheese casserole, stir-fried greens, and her oh-so-decadent pumpkin cheesecake.
As for Dad, I can only guess what he did. But for this real dad, Social Media and my family MADE my birthday!
Get Bruce’s new book and Limited Edition (of 500) Poster, A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation at Amazon, iTunes, BN.com, or The Store.