My husband refuses to join Facebook.
That’s his choice, and I’ve been supportive, but man, I wish he would join. Not because I think he needs to bond with Internet friends, or because I think he should communicate with long-lost buddies and ex-girlfriends, or even because I think the online world should be exposed to his unique brand of humor.*
It’s because Facebook has eclipsed Evite as a way of inviting people to events.
There was a time when my email inbox was cluttered with Evites. Evites for parties. Evites for work events. Evites for things I needed to cover for work. A long time ago, I got one Evite a week.
Alas, the golden age of Evite is over. An informal survey of my inbox reveals that in 2009, I got nine or 10 Evites. In 2010 I got three. Last year I got six – which is so many that I’m afraid I’ve miscounted.
You know how many Evites I’ve gotten in 2012? One. That’s because everyone is sending Facebook event invites instead. And that is why my husband really needs to join Facebook.
Let’s take this week for example. One of my husband’s friends is hosting a Depends-themed party.
I can’t make it to this event. I will be hanging out at the other end of the maturity scale that day, dispensing spatulas and marital advice at a bridal shower. So no Depends for me.** My husband, however, is going. (To the party. Not at the party. Although you never know, the invitation promises that anyone not in a diaper by dusk will be voted off the island.) The problem? I am the one who has all the details about where and when and who’s providing the pack of Depends, because I’m the one on Facebook.
This has happened with other events. I believe I once got a bachelor party invitation on Facebook. I’ve occasionally gotten communication for him through Facebook, because apparently Facebook’s sneaky tactics are working and FB messages are also eclipsing traditional email.
You may think that my objections to my husband’s Facebook boycott stem from the fact that I don’t like being his secretary. That’s only 20 percent true. Yeah, the part of me that’s a hairy-legged overalls-weraring 1970s second-wave feminist objects to taking messages for my husband. But that’s not the real problem.
The real issue goes a little something like this: I don’t even look at my event invitations on Facebook.
I get so many random invites from bands and local organizations I covered when I was a local arts journalist, that I don’t register events anymore. When I see I have event invites, my brain blocks them from view as it does with junk mail and spam. They are invisible, and I wouldn’t have even noticed the Depends party invitation if the host hadn’t accosted me in person last week:
“Are you guys coming to my party?”
“I sent you an invite.”
I panicked and racked my brain. What invitations have come through my inbox? Have I looked? It must be on my phone, right? Luckily, his party has a pretty distinctive title.
“Was the word ‘poop’ in the event title?”
He grinned. Another Facebook event crisis averted.
So what’s the moral of this story? That Facebook is taking over all kinds of Internet services, from email to evite to the sort of social networking once provided by Friendster, I guess. Or maybe the moral is that if you’re married to someone who refuses to Facebook, you might end up being his Facebook receptionist. Or maybe it’s that you should always insert words that stand out in the titles of your Facebook invites. Like “poop.”
** At least not yet.