If there is one thing I love, it is efficiency in language especially if eliminating unnecessary words comes with a dash of an imperial command.
So when someone instructs me to “inbox them” I try very hard to not visualize cramming them into a little plastic shelf on a desktop and instead focus on how much I love being told what to do. “Inbox me” has everything going for it – two nouns strung together without a pesky verb. Its like two people having an entire conversation without actually taking action! How cool is that?
It is even better when people use Facebook to “inbox me” because there’s nothing more fun that trying to find an old Facebook message or cut-n-paste something that needs to be formatted. And of course since Facebook likes to kick things to the “Other” inbox where the bandgeeks dwell, there’s an extra element of excitement when MY message makes the real inbox. I feel like a communication princess.
To be fair, “inbox me” requires the same amount of letter as “email me” but who is counting (besides me)? The irony is when a semi-public conversation like a Facebook thread turns personal and someone says “inbox me” rather than taking a few seconds to actually send a private message. Sort of like when someone posts on your FB page “text me” instead of texting me directly. Why the public statement? Why not be polite and simply initiate the private correspondence? Is it about being cool? It doesn’t feel cool. It feels presumptive and absurd.
When someone tells me to “inbox me” I usually don’t. Because I don’t know what the fuck that means beyond some hipster slang that I expect from a 13 year old, not a professional acquaintance. And most of the people who use that term don’t respond to email anyway which is rude so I just avoid getting caught up in a whirlwind of resentment and annoyance by communicating with people who like verbs. Even as I type this, I’m having twitchy flashbacks to the 1990’s when the world forced us to start journaling rather than writing in a journal. To be fair, at least “journaling” is a gerund.
I’m happy to email you, call you, text you, tweet at you, even to Facebook you (groan) but I will not inbox you. You can inbox me to your heart’s desire. My little Gen X heart may or may not respond.