Want to share medical information with past sexual someones, but just can’t find the words to say? Say it in an e-card! Internet Sexuality Information Services has developed inSPOT—- short for “Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks”—-to help bring pesky STD chats into the realm of belated birthdays and “just because” dancing GIFs. InSPOT provides a variety of virtual cards (Slate‘s got screenshots of the e-offerings) complete with cute little phrases like “I got screwed while screwing, you might have too,” “Sometimes there are strings attached,” and “Got laid. Was happy. Got tested. Wasn’t healthy.”
As you might imagine, there are right ways and wrong ways to send an STD notification e-card. According to InSPOT, “If you decide to compose a personal message, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think about how you were told—what you liked and what you didn’t—and put the best of it into words.” Furthermore, “You can send postcards anonymously or from your email address. Historically, when you tell a sex partner(s) yourself, it’s more likely s.he will ‘hear’ the message and get tested.”
I’m all for making STD notification easier, and if this e-card system helps people take the initiative to get tested, I think that’s great. Still, please do not send me one of these e-cards. First of all, as the e-card subject line reads “e-card from a concerned friend re: your health — via inSPOT,” it’s probably heading straight to my Spam folder, along with p3n1s enlargement notes and overseas investment opportunities. Second, I fear that the “anonymous” feature may encourage the grade school community to abuse the inSPOT system for its own amusement. Finally, while I accept the witless drivel of the e-card on throwaway holidays, I’d really prefer it not be used to impart important information concerning my reproductive system.
Take one inSPOT e-card for example (perfect for the journalist!). It reads: “Who? What? When? Where? It doesn’t matter. I got an STD; you might have it too. Please get checked out.” Actually, it does matter. And these oversized emoticons aren’t helping.