A 54-year-old mum from Southend has wished her entire Facebook friends list Happy Birthday by just posting the message on her own wall to nobody in particular. 

Shortly after 9am on Monday morning, Lorraine Beckett noticed that she had a birthday notification about her third cousin Margaret who she never actually speaks to anyway, and hurriedly proceeded to her own wall to pass on her warmest regards to herself.

Lorraine told our Chief Reporter that her cousin would probably see it anyway ‘because that’s how Facebook works.’

She added: ‘I’ve never quite got the hang of tagging – isn’t that when you just type someone else’s name and they see it even if you misspell it?’

‘I’m very careful when I post anything to end every comment with my full name just in case they don’t know who posted it.’

Lorraine’s daughter Joanne confirmed that she has been trying to speak to her mum on Facebook for more than two hours.

She said: ‘I said ‘hi’ over two hours ago, but her response has been stuck on those three dots ever since.’

‘It keeps disappearing and coming back. She’s probably trying to find the semicolon again.’

We asked Lorraine if she usually wishes people a Happy Birthday in the real world by just running into the street and howling the phrase like a deranged lunatic in the hope that its intended recipient hears it somehow.

‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ she said. ‘For the really important birthdays I still use eCards – thank heavens I kept my Freeserve email address.’