Thursday, January 27, 2011

Text Me If It's Good

Posted by Brian Martin
When I was in college and through my early twenties my least favorite saying was “text me it it’s good.” We all had that friend, and if you’re reading this now and think you didn’t have that friend –it’s you.
I thought my days of being the Lewis & Clark for social toe dippers were over until my boyfriend and I decided to host a New Years Eve party on the roof of our building overlooking downtown SF. The problem was the roof fit 50 people max. Now, that may not seem like that big of a problem but go ahead and count up your friends who would rather go to a house party than paying 100 dollars to listen to a Black Eyed Peas song at some bar they could normally get into for free. Go ahead…I’ll wait. More than you thought?

We put together a guest list, which I’ll admit was much easier with Facebook invite. We quickly realized we couldn’t invite everyone and knew that making the event “public” could hurt friends in two ways: 1. making the event public and appearing on their newsfeed letting them know one of their close friends had just RSVPd to an event they didn’t get invited to 2. a more catty but still valid dis – letting people who were invited check out the list and see you were not on it. So in an attempt to do the right thing, we closed the guest list…and all hell broke lose.

First it was the passive aggressive comments on the event page “I don’t know if I can go if I can’t see the guest list” or “My how exclusive,” each one smoothed over with a lol, smiley face or extended hahaha’s. Then people started calling us to say “Ok I get why you did it, but really, why can’t you just let me see.” It didn’t bother me at first because I felt I understood. I mean it’s New Years Eve, single girls wanted to know if single guys would be there, single gays wanted to know if attractive guys would be there and couples wanted to know there’d be a cheese plate. But as the comments piled up and I found myself deflecting them left and right, I began to blame…technology. If this were seven years before and I had just called people to let them know or sent them an email this would never have been an issue.

Now, when we get to view not only who is attending, who is not and those awful maybe people, we also get to see their latest five photos, where they work, where they went to school and that they’re a fan “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” This lead me to blame the Facebook invite for creating the ultimate “text me if it’s good.” And now my party was the unknown terrain to be tested by the socially brave or less discriminatory. Was I not enough? Did my friends need more than to see my boyfriend’s name and me on the invitation to be enticed?

If they didn’t want to come they didn’t have to. It turned out fine, better than fine actually. Everyone came and we packed the roof, it didn’t rain and all was merry. But as I reflect on this blog post I have to close with the admission of my one hypocrisy.

I always click “attending” when I get an invite to celebrate a colleagues birthday with a happy hour at a Mexican restaurant across town or an invitation to a karaoke bar to raise money for someone’s run or bike or swim to find a cure for something. But when that date nears I find myself, without any guilt, checking whose “attending” before I decide to go. I don’t mean any harm by it, it’s just a luxury of technology and more simply, it’s just the way it is now.


  1. You know I am obsessed with the concept. The whole "text me if it's good" is a metaphor for the overall BBD (bigger better deal) mentality on everyone's mind these days. People think that the next bar, next party, next guy is always going to be better...and technology fuels this cycle because it makes us think we have more options than we actually do. Thanks for sharing some wisdom Bri guy!