She never saw it coming. Her jaw dropped wide open and her eyebrows jumped straight off her forehead. She couldn’t formulate words for several minutes because her brain was in such a state of shock and confusion. Even more dumbfounded than when we found out we were having the kid.
Luckily, she did NOT go into early labor, which was a genuine concern of mine.
All in all, Devon’s super-secret surprise baby shower was a massive success. A few dozen of our favorite Chicago residents, ridiculous amounts of food (including the galaxy’s raddest cupcakes*), and sufficient quantities of carbonated beverages (some with alcohol) came together for one glorious evening of showering.
None of this would have been possible without the efforts of our dear friend Trevor Watkin, who organized it all. Kudos, amigo, job well done.
And now that it’s done with, I can be fully honest with my wife again. I must say, keeping a secret party a secret for roughly three months is no picnic when you live with the intended subject.
It’s also really goddamn difficult to get guests to commit and arrive on time when you can’t yak it up on Facebook. I do not know how Trevor was able to do it, but I was mightily impressed.
I guess there are the old-fashioned ways of communicating: e-mail, telephone, talking in person.
I’m finding more and more that anything other than Facebook is a secondary option in just about all my marketing efforts. I get frustrated when people tell me they are not on Facebook. Seriously? Get real. Everyone is on Facebook.
I get even more frustrated when people tell me they are on Facebook, but that they almost never check it. What’s the goddamn point, man? Why go on living at all?
Therein lies my problem. Facebook is nobody’s friend. Facebook makes things too easy.
I love it because it’s free. I can get to people for free. A lot of people. And I can give them a photo for free. I don’t even have to cut down a single tree to get visual entertainment to a targeted audience.**
But you pay for what you get, and how easy is it for everyone to ignore a Facebook invite? It’s even easier than it is to send one.
So the old-school forms of marketing – hell, even old-school forms of inviting people to a party – aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
Let me clarify. I work for the internet, and I firmly believe that internet advertising is the best – trackable, easier to target your audience, way more effective than TV, radio, and print. But the internet has been around long enough that we’ve seen various fads come and go. Evites are still in use, but not nearly as much as five years ago. MySpace is still around, but it’s a laughingstock. Even QR codes are on their way out – Google is abandoning the technology, shouldn’t everyone? Twitter may die out in time, who knows, nothing lasts forever. So when I say “old-school” I mean the mainstays of the last seven to ten years. My guess is that Google and Facebook will be the last titans duking it out at the end of the world, but just like Anthony Kiedis’ long hair, all things must end.
And as much as I love Facebook for being both a keeping-in-touch tool and a marketing tool, I have to remind myself constantly that Facebook is not the end of the line for either. It shouldn’t even be the starting point.
What I’m getting at here is that I want to un-train myself from thinking of Facebook first when reaching out. It’s so easy and so fun that I want to use it for everything, but the real world is just a thousand times better. I’d like to use the real world more. I want to train myself to think first of direct e-mail, or actual physical mail when I can, or perhaps even the telephone (which I hate so, so much, but let’s face it – it’s more personal). If I can get your attention face-to-face, that’s even better. I need to try the harder methods first and Facebook second.
Because all those people typing “Surprise!” on her Facebook wall would have been no substitute for them actually standing in our apartment, using their voices, taking pictures and offering hugs.
** Facebook invite: