Birthday Balloon Binge

ballonsTwitter has announced its going to help its users celebrate their birthdays. You can now share your birthday on your profile and twitter will provide the virtual balloons.

I was excited at first. Then I read Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy on saying, “Twitter will do anything to twist a few more pennies from its advertisers, including using information about our birthday and who celebrates it.”

This is one more way to make a birthday a horizontal event (ahem…horizontal marketing event)! GRR.

Yet, I’m still excited about the virtual balloons.

I love balloons. I’ve said I want those instead of flowers at my funeral. But there are some negatives to consider. First, there’s the impact on the helium market (learn why there is a shortage). Then there’s the environmental litter and the danger to animals to worry about (check out the cleverly titled to learn more about the reality of letting go of balloons).


Photo credit: frankieleon / Foter / CC BY

Since I can’t bring myself to call for a ban on balloons entirely, I’m going to endorse responsible balloon usage. If you use balloons:

  • Use your own hot air. Or check out buzz feed’s cool salt and cola method!
  • Don’t let them go — pop them afterwards and put them in the trash.

If you’re entirely anti-balloon, consider these interesting observations about some advantages of working with balloons.


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