Has your birthday started to feel like a bit of a hassle? Maybe you could do without all those generic “Happy Birthday!” LinkedIn messages from people you haven’t seen in years, and to be honest, barely recognize?
(Is that Susan from high school, or Susan from my first job?)
Or maybe you don’t want to hear about other people’s birthdays from LinkedIn. Do we really need to know that it’s Joe-That-Guy-We-Sat-Next-To-At-That-One-Conference-Three-Years-Ago’s birthday? I’d feel disingenuous wishing these people a happy birthday, unless I sent them awkwardly truthful messages…
(“I met you once 3 years ago and can vaguely recollect your personality, but you’re probably a good person, so happy birthday I guess.”)
(“Happy Birthday Sam! I still don’t forgive you for slacking on Project Z and then trying to take credit for my work, but everyone deserves a good birthday…I guess.”)
Fear not, my misanthropic friend. From one grouch to another, I’m here to show you how to turn off LinkedIn birthday notifications.
How to Stop Those Annoying LinkedIn Birthday Notifications
So there isn’t actually way to turn off these god-forsaken notifications but we found a viable work around!
If you’d like to keep your birthday between you, your family, and your 1500 closest Facebook friends, you can simply remove your birthday from your LinkedIn profile.
- Click the ‘Me’ icon on the top right of the LinkedIn home page → ‘View Profile’
2. On the right-hand side of the page, look for “Contact and Personal Info.” You may have to scroll down to see this. Click on the pencil icon.
3. Scroll down until you see the birthday section. You have two options. You could delete your birthday by changing the month back to “Month” and the day back to “Day.” Or you can leave your birthday inputted, but click on “Visible to: Your network” on the bottom right, and change the visibility setting to “Visible to: Only you.”
How to Stop Being Notified About Others’ Birthdays on LinkedIn
To stop being notified about other people’s birthdays, you’ll want to change your notification settings.
- Click the ‘Notifications’ icon in the top right of your home page.
2. Look for a birthday notification. Click the 3 dots to the right of the notification.
3. You’ll see a button that says: ‘Birthdays Turn off all notifications of this type’
4. Click it, and never receive a birthday notification again. Huzzah!
What If Your Birthday Was Visible and You Just Got a Slew of Birthday Messages?
For those of you who stumbled upon this article after an unfortunate incident wherein EVERYONE YOU’VE EVER CONNECTED WITH ON LINKEDIN learned that it was the anniversary of your emergence from your mother’s vagina, I’ve got some advice for you too.
Yes, it’s annoying to receive a bunch of generic birthday messages. However, ignoring those messages is a missed opportunity. A thoughtful reply generates goodwill, and that goodwill might have tangible results in the future when you’re looking for a job or need some industry advice.
Therefore I suggest you reply to every single message you received, even if it takes a few hours. Avoid the generic “Thank you!” message, as that’s forgettable and will not further your relationship with the sender. Instead, here are three easy options:
- Share how you spent your special day. For example “Thank you, I celebrated at my favorite Italian restaurant with some family and friends. Appreciate your well wishes.” This feels a little more personal, but you can copy and paste it into multiple replies if you don’t have time to personalize a reply for each person.
- Ask the sender how they are doing. For example, “Thank you, long time no see. How have you been?” This message has the benefit of opening up a back-and-forth. I’d recommend sending a message like this to key contacts in your network – anyone you might work with or seek advice from in the future. These kinds of casual communications make people much more likely to want to help you in the future.
- Invite them to a catch up call or meeting. If the person is a key contact, you may also want to use the opportunity to reconnect. E.g. “Hey Ted, thanks for the birthday wishes. I miss working with you on Project Z. I’d love to catch up sometime – are you free Tuesday morning?”
If you’re an outgoing birthday-lover, ignore my advice. But if birthday notifications and generic birthday messages make you want to bang your head against the wall, Dobby-style, change your settings and revel in your birthday liberation.