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4/14/2008
10:14 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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E-Ignorance Can Be Bliss

I missed something that was staring me in the face. It wasn't something huge or important, like, "Oh, look, Hillary Clinton's really trying to be nice this week." No, what I happily missed were online ads served up by Evite alongside the "Come to dinner" verbiage. This offense apparently is enough for the New York Times to proclaim the site as the ruination of parties in our modern e-times. But what if we forget

I missed something that was staring me in the face. It wasn't something huge or important, like, "Oh, look, Hillary Clinton's really trying to be nice this week." No, what I happily missed were online ads served up by Evite alongside the "Come to dinner" verbiage. This offense apparently is enough for the New York Times to proclaim the site as the ruination of parties in our modern e-times. But what if we forget to notice?I don't think that sort of oversight will make Evite owner Barry Diller weep bitter, mogul tears. And he's unlikely to solve this by pumping up the font size or the decibel level of same .wav file that gets activated by socially minded clicking. But I tune out banner ads, pop-ups, or those annoying fold-over pages as reflexively as I do with electronics retailers or mattress vendors. The more they clutter the landscape, the thicker my skin gets.

One quick aside: Have you ever clicked "Maybe" in response to Evite's question, "Will you attend?" What sort of beautifully passive-aggressive option is that? Write me if you've clicked that box, and then went to the party anyway. I'll take the winner with the best story to lunch the next time you're in L.A. Unless I get a better offer.

I'd like to blame Diller for the demise of civilized socializing. But that would detract from the loathing I feel for him over his QVC shopping channel, which has performed the neat trick of ruining shopping and TV. And besides, we all know who to blame for the demise of good social skills and witty repartee: iPhone users.

Give me just a second and I'll find that clip of Hillary kissing babies, helping with the hand-washables, and not staying more than three days. But don't blink -- you might miss it, or this terribly important message from one of YouTube's sponsors.

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