When someone I love calls or visits to say "Happy Birthday" I get a completely different vibe than when the same person sends a text bearing the sentiment. No matter how many cutesy emoticons you include, it's simply impossible to convey the same joy over electronics that personal contact achieves so easily.
Today, texting and social media have all but replaced birthday cards and other types of personal contact on special occasions. Although some might maintain that these avenues allow us to keep in touch with more people at once, others point out that such interactions are superficial in nature and rude to fall back on. "Too many people take the lazy route on birthdays, holidays and other special occasions," says Desiree J. "Not being on social media forces me to really connect with people on a regular basis, rather than resorting to some canned wall post."
Etiquette experts are rolling with the times to fold tech advancements in with birthday and special occasion etiquette. Acquaintances or old friends you primarily connect with via Facebook can get by with merely a wall post, but folks you text regularly warrant a minimum of a text or phone call. The extra-special people in your life, like siblings, significant others and close family should be acknowledged in person whenever possible, or by phone, Skype or other personal avenue [source: Marcowicz].