Short answer: No, you should not send your kid's bar or bat mitzvah invitation via email. It's not that I need a 3-layer, hand embossed invitation with foil trim to put on my fridge, but I do need something to stick up there. It's not about propriety or tradition, but the practical matter of getting your message posted to that old skool bastion of family communication--the refrigerator.
Am I hopelessly old-fashioned? I mean, I use an online family calendar and I have a smart phone, but unless I receive an email at just the right time, your lovely invitation will get sucked into the black hole that is my inbox. And if you send it directly to my kid? Fuggedaboutit. I might not even learn about your simcha until the week after it took place.
Based on an unscientific survey of moms with boys, if you email the invitation directly to a 12 or 13-year-old boy, it will be forgotten. Or perhaps news of your blessed event may may it to the parents, but the boy will forget to email you the reply. Or maybe he'll respond without checking with his parents or forget to tell you he can't make it after all, which is no big deal in his mind because he's never worked with a caterer and doesn't realize his absence will set you back financially.
With #1 son, we found lovely, but simple, invitations from Shutterfly and ditched the response cards. We asked guests to reply via email and created a special address hotmail address just for that purpose (nicely avoiding the black hole I mentioned above). We also included a phone number for the five or so elderly people on our list who never rode the wave of the digital revolution and don't have email. That green move saved paper, needless printing and postage. More green on the Earth and more green in our pockets--win-win!
But I need a paper invitation, please.
Am I the only one who feels this way?