I’m Slowly Losing Faith In Mankind
January 17, 2009, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Angry Smoot Will Stab You In The Eye, ShamWow!, Terrible Inventions

evite

Why do people insist on sending evites?

Who the hell came up with this idea, anyway? An evite has to be on the short list of World’s Most Pointless Inventions. You log onto a website, fill out all the information about your event, enter all the email addresses of people you’d like it go to and it emails it for you…

Wrap your mind around that nonsense for a second.

You log onto a website, so that it can do exactly what you would do if you were sending an email yourself. There’s absolutely no point to logging onto a website in the first place. Just send the email yourself! It’s a totally unnecessary step added to a an already practical invention, for the sole purpose of making it completely impractical.

Now, this one extra step might not sound like a big deal to the sender, but just try and put yourself in the shoes of the about-to-be-annoyed recipient. Here’s how the entire scenario breaks down for someone on the receiving end of an eClusterfuck: (For the sake of this example, I’ll use myself as the recipient and make the sender, oh, I don’t know, my mom.)

I get an email alert on my BlackBerry. I check the message and see that it’s from my mom and it has a perfabricated subject line. Nine times out of ten, this means it’s a joke. Probably one I read 400 times back when I used AOL and wore out the S, 2 and R keys on my Compaq. But this email doesn’t start with the dreaded “FWD:” that I’m so used to opening and quickly trashing. (With AOL, that was a great trick. This way, if the sender ever checked the status, it would say opened and not deleted, and your aunt wouldn’t get pissed that you were deleting all her chain letters.) It does, however, say “So-and-so has sent you an evite…” This is where I start to get annoyed, because there’s no way to check that on my phone’s crappy browser. And it doesn’t actually tell me anything in the email body, other than what I’m invited to. So I know there’s a birthday party, but I have no idea when or where. Wonderful.

Now I have to find the nearest computer and log onto gmail. Once I get to a real computer, I can open the mail in an actual browser and click the link that will finally tell me where the hell this event is taking place. Why am I doing this? Why couldn’t the original email have just told me all of this to begin with? (Ed note: I never actually make it this far into the process anymore. Usually, once I see the word evite, I call the person to ask them what it says.)

I’ve always assumed that over time, we, as a society, would become smarter and more efficient; that the collective ideas that the great minds of this world crank out on a daily basis, would greatly improve usability and overall satisfaction in the products and services we use in our everyday lives.

Then I think about the ShamWow and evites.

And, mom, would you please stop sending me on a nonsensical scavenger hunt just to tell me you’re making Hanukkah dinner?

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