Weird evening. Please show the names in group texts.

Tonight I was invited to a very good friend’s birthday dinner at a restaurant. My friend organized the event via texts. It was organized at the very last minute this morning for tonight. It was ok because we set the date 2 weeks ago already when we had dinner together with other friends. So I booked my evening for her even if no one knew the plan. She sent a group text asking for availabilities this morning and I instantly replied ok since we already agreed. I was glad we would spend the same nice evening eating asian food as we did two weeks earlier. So I assumed.

On my way to the restaurant, my friend was late, I couldn’t find the restaurant, I was walking hopelessly in the street, in the cold and I really needed to go to pee, it seemed a never ending moment. So I kept walking and walking, until I ran into a guy I know. It was someone I’m really not close with, so it was the kind of encounter I hoped to last 3 minutes top, I really needed to pee. Then, another guy I know came to meet us, it was a guy I know better but I’m not that close with him either, 10 minutes top. Then I realized they were coming to the birthday. It would be my friend, her boyfriend, the two guys and me. I was disappointed to be honest, I thought this would be a private dinner and I couldn’t understand why she would invite them since she’s not that close with them either. But then I realized: I didn’t know who was coming anyway. The whole thing was organized via texts, so I didn’t see any recipients of the group text, I just assumed she would invite the usual people. And I didn’t feel like asking who was coming, because my decision of coming was already made. So what does that change to know who is coming?

Well, if I knew who was coming, my mindset would have been different, and I would have spent a better evening. Just that. I had already been to birthday dinners where the only person I knew was the birthday person, and I enjoyed it because I was in the mindset of meeting new people. But unfortunately tonight, I expected a cosy dinner and it was not, instead I had one of my “What am I doing here” moments. I kind of blame the texting tool. Email does this, Facebook does this, IM does this : showing names of the people involved in a conversation. It seems a standard now and it’s good user experience. So why can’t texts do it too? I don’t get it. Texting is still a great tool to organize events with friends, especially quickly planned events like this one, we’re used to it, it really should evolve at the same pace as other online communication tools. Dear Android, please show the names in group texts.

Anyway, the dinner still went ok, but it was really weird. On the one hand, the guy I merely know always talked to me trying to make a joke out of anything I was doing, literally anything. On the other hand, the other guy dragged me again into a cynical conversation (every time I meet him, it always goes metaphysical), at one point I remember telling him, “Well go read Wikipedia then”, ha basic redirection.

Fortunately the food was delicious and I was really happy to be there with my friend. I’m also glad because I suggested the restaurant after passing by earlier and they all liked it. It was a collaborative meal where you cook your food in a melting pot, the same we were looking for with my brother but this one was “all you can eat”, crazy. I’m gonna rate it on Hotspot, and I’m gonna tell my brother now, he will fall off his couch.

Posted in Observations, Stories, U.X

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