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Public Bullying To Get An RSVP

I have a question that has been bothering me. I’ve noticed a trend on Facebook in regards to invitations to events (specifically children’s birthday parties.). I had a friend who created an event for her son’s 9th or 10th birthday. I’ve never met her child so I did not expect an invitation. However for weeks up to the big day she would post on her wall updates like, “I need to know exactly who is coming to Tommy’s birthday party on August 20th. I need a head count for treat bags and to make sure we have enough food”. I cringed because I knew that people who were not invited were going to see this. Sure enough a few people started leaving comments saying they’d love to come IF they had been invited to which my friend replied if they were invited they would have gotten an event notification. They didn’t get an event notification. And boy were they offended. I privately messaged her and mentioned that she can send a mail to everyone invited as a mass mailer through the events menu. I do this all the time for mine. She replied back that it’s easier to just make a post on her wall.

Has it become acceptable to do stuff like this? I know that it’s rude to discuss a party people aren’t invited to when talking among friends in a group setting, but does the same hold up for social media? I’ve seen the same done for showers and holiday parties. When I’m invited I can usually see the guest list and sometimes there are over 100+ people invited. I know the hosts/hostesses and there is absolutely no way they could host that many people. What would they do if the majority of potential guests accepted? You can’t take back the invitation can you? Do the rules for face to face interactions apply to places like Facebook and Twitter? 0926-13

Acceptable and ubiquitous are two separate definitions.  What may become commonplace in a culture may still not be acceptable.

What people often are guilty of is thoughtlessness.   They do not think ahead and conceptualize the consequences of actions they take.   So they post foolish content on Twitter or Facebook with little to no thought as to how the message will appear to others.    I had a friend post a Facebook status that said, “Partied with 50 of my closest friends this weekend!”, with no thought as to how that would appear to the 100+ other friends who had not been invited.    There were people who discovered that the depth of relationship they thought they had with her was not what they thought it was.   She did not intend to be hurtful but in being thoughtless, she inadvertently damaged some good relationships.

Your friend isn’t just thoughtless, she’s lazy.  She knows there is a better way to communicate with her guests and she chose to ignore your good advice.   She’s begging and haranguing them publicly to RSVP to her party which is certain to backfire on her.   It really is not a good idea to bully people into accepting invitations because those guests are just as likely to not show up at all at the appointed party time.


{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Cherry91 September 30, 2013, 8:49 am

    I agree that’s it’s partly laziness on the Mother’s side of things, however on the other hand, the people who commented fishing for invitations shouldn’t have been surprised by being knocked back, and I think that the Mother handled THAT part well, even if she could have avoided the entire situation in the first place.

  • Alexis September 30, 2013, 8:50 am

    I see this a lot as well and it is definitely rude. People feel the need now to share every thought that comes into their head with everyone possible on social media. I’m guilty of it, too–it’s an easy trap to fall into–but when it comes to etiquette I know where to draw the line. What that particular person did is definitely rude, especially if it was done multiple times.

    One of my biggest Facebook event pet peeves is open events for personal things like birthday parties or house parties. The hosts invite people, then they leave it open and just say “if I forgot to add anyone please do it for me.” I can only imagine the disaster that has the potential to end up with.

  • Lo September 30, 2013, 8:54 am

    This is one of the reasons I treat Facebook invitations as non-invitations and consequently got rid of Facebook. If you want to get in contact with me you can send me a written invitation or give me a call. If you don’t have my address or phone# then I don’t know you well enough to accept an invitation.

    Your friend is being rude for flaunting the party in front of non-invited friends. She is being rude for pushing the invited parties with constant reminders to RSVP. Non-invitees are also being rude by getting snippy about not being invited, though. Honestly, who is clamoring to go to a child’s birthday party? The whole thing sounds like a really silly mess. You’ve given you friend good advice and she’s chosen not to take it. She can look forward to a lot of annoyed friends.

  • CaffeineKatie September 30, 2013, 8:59 am

    I think this goes beyond rude to maybe even a little mean? If there was no way to limit your postings’ audience on Facebook, or if you didn’t know such a process existed–ok, it’s rude. But to be too lazy to use it–that’s mean!

  • Goldie September 30, 2013, 9:15 am

    I am at a loss for words. If you have created a closed, invite-only event, you can post any updates on that event’s page and they will appear in the Facebook feed of everyone who was invited, and has not RSVP’d “no” (but they won’t appear in anyone else’s feed). Why OP’s friend considers this more difficult than posting on her FB wall is beyond me. In both cases, you make a post on a wall.

    Also, just like Admin said, if a guest hasn’t RSVP’d yes by the deadline, then guess what, they are not coming. Here’s your head count for treat bags; you’re welcome. I had to chuckle at this one. My kids grew up pre-Facebook, when all you could do was send invites in the mail (or have your kids slip an invite to their friends quietly at school) and hope that the invite will get to the parents, that they would call you back with an RSVP, and that their message won’t get erased from your answering machine before you get to hear it. I had a party where I invited eight guests, maybe half of them called back with a yes, and only two showed up; I had another where I invited twelve, some of them called back, and all of them showed up. I used to keep a couple of spare treat bags on hand just in case. Facebook made event planning so incredibly easy compared to what we had to go through before it; and some people still manage to fudge it up.

    I am also mystified by the event invites for 100+ people. Granted, I’ve never seen all 100+ accept and come to a party, but why even take these chances?

  • Abby September 30, 2013, 9:25 am

    Yes, friend is just lazy. I hope the desire for convenience does not trump the concern for hurt feelings for most people, and the friend in this story is the exception, not the rule.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith September 30, 2013, 9:30 am

    Your friend sounds like somewhat of an attention hog- “look at meeeee!” I can think of no other reason to post a private event in a public forum in such a way that those not involved are certain to see, notice and react. Perhaps the reaction of the uninvited fuels her sense of self-importance?

  • Wild Irish Rose September 30, 2013, 9:43 am

    I’ve been invited to several events via Facebook, and I can’t remember attending any of them. I realize it’s easier to do a mass invitation on a social medium, but it seems to me that it would be too easy to forget whom you invited in doing that. I really prefer a tangible invitation, in writing, to an event to which a lot of people are invited. It’s different from a face-to-face discussion with one or two people, and posting the “open invitation” for all to see is just inviting trouble as well as too many people.

  • Charliesmum September 30, 2013, 9:50 am

    I can’t understand how she thinks it’s harder to respond to people in the events page than it is to post on your public page. In any ‘event’ I was tagged in, all subsequent information was done through the event page-I’d get a thing saying ‘so-and-so responded in event’ and then I’d click on it, and see the communication. It didn’t pop up on my main page. It’s not any harder to do that than it is to post on her main page.

    All that being said, why wouldn’t you send actual invitations for a kid’s birthday? That’s half the fun.

  • Ergala September 30, 2013, 9:52 am

    Hey all, this was my post. She has a tendency to do this…a lot. For example she will post a status that says “I hate my life right now. I’m so depressed….I wish life was over…no need to respond to this guys, I just needed to get it off my chest.”. A few minutes later she posted another one saying “Wow! I didn’t realize how much my friends and family love me! Thanks guys for all the support!”. I typically ignore stuff like that. There are some people who just need validation every single day several times. Thankfully I’m not one of those people but plenty of people I know are.

    We have a FB event for my son’s birthday party that is in October. It’s closed and private. I post any updates on the event wall and if I have an urgent message regarding a change in time or date I send a message to everyone who RSVP’d yes. We kept the list small because we have a small home, we didn’t want to risk having 20 or 30 people show up and there be nowhere for people to sit down. Not to mention all the kids running crazy through the apartment. I wish we had a yard but we don’t.

  • Lisa September 30, 2013, 9:53 am

    I’m so glad I don’t do social media, just for this and a myriad of other reasons. Bring back manners and civility anytime.

  • siamesecat 2965 September 30, 2013, 9:55 am

    I hate this. I’ve seen some of my friends post so-called “open” invites, and as they’ve had gatherings where its the more the merrier before, been sort of unsure as to whether I was actually invited or welcome. While I could see the notice, I wasn’t on the list of those who had actually BEEN invited. And unlike some, if I’m not directly invited, I won’t ask or go. That’s just how I am.

    I was a bit sad since I have some social anxiety, and this was a friend from HS I reconnected with after our last reunion, so some of my old insecurities came back, like “how come everyone else in our circle was invited but not me?” I’m sure she meant nothing by it, but I was a tad hurt and also when I saw the postings etc. after. But the next one, I was invited. GO figure.

  • Ergala September 30, 2013, 9:56 am

    Oh and a quick note on adults going to a child’s party. Here it isn’t strictly a kids event. Parties of any variety are a chance to get together with friends, eat good food and catch up. My kids parties, maybe 3 or 4 kids are there and most are relatives. The rest are adults. I think it’s a cultural thing to be honest. This friend had just come back after moving to another state for a few months. It didn’t work out there so she and her husband with their two children moved back. I imagine people were offended because they wanted to catch up with them and this was a prime chance to do so. Personally, if I haven’t seen someone in awhile I would rather chat 1:1 so I’d call and find a date and time that worked for coffee or tea.

  • Raven September 30, 2013, 10:20 am

    Yet another reason FB has become less “user friendly” and more “disaster friendly.” What is the purpose of putting up this kind of post?
    1) It draws attention to the fact the poster is having a party.
    2) It draws attention to the fact that some people are not invited. Rude.
    3) It (openly) draws attention to the fact that some people have not yet responded. Rude.

    OP’s response that posting on her wall instead of private messaging is “easier” is ridiculous, and makes her seem like someone who is looking to stir up trouble.

    I’m with PP – who is *dying* to go to a kid’s party anyway??

  • lakey September 30, 2013, 10:38 am

    It may be that they were fishing for invitations.
    It may be that this was a somewhat non-subtle way for them to let her know that she shouldn’t be going on about her party in front of people who weren’t invited.
    It may be that they were honestly confused, thinking that there had been some kind of broad Facebook invitation that they had missed. That sentence, “I’d love to come if I’m invited” could mean that they don’t know if they are invited.

    Anyway, I consider it very rude to discuss a party in front of people who aren’t invited, so I don’t have much sympathy for her if people were fishing for invitations. She brought that on herself.

  • DGS September 30, 2013, 10:48 am

    The OP’s friend is rude and lazy. If you wish to invite someone to an event, you can call them or email them, including generating an email invitation that goes out to multiple recepients and prompts them to RSVP (such as an Evite). This way, there are no inadvertent hurt feelings. Perhaps, the OP’s friend is just a drama hog creating a spectacle on FB as a way to pass the time? I cannot see any other reason to blatantly hurt people’s feelings by excluding them in such a callous way.

  • Ashley September 30, 2013, 10:48 am

    I recently had a similar situation go down, I kept seeing posts from a person about “If you want an invite for ____ please let me know, I need to know who is coming so I can take care of this, this, and this”. It was up to three times daily. The whole time I was thinking to myself “You couldn’t have posted this on the event page you created??”

    I wasn’t interested in the even so I declined, but seeing the updates all the time because she posted them on HER wall…ugh. She also adds a bunch of strangers only for playing games, so I can’t even imagine how they must have felt about these constant updates.

  • kingsrings September 30, 2013, 10:49 am

    This is what I don’t like about social media – it lets you know exactly what you weren’t invited to event-wise. Events I would have never known about otherwise I now know about because it’s posted on Facebook. Even if the host keeps quiet about talking of said event and marks the event as private (meaning only the invitees can see it), there seems to always be others blabbing about it or posting pictures of it. I’ve had my feelings hurt a few times regarding this, and I’m not the only one. Yet, I don’t know if it’s rude or not. I think what the op’s friend did was rude by so blatantly talking about it. She could have left the same messages on the event wall, or private messaged the invitees. You don’t advertise that much about an event unless everyone you know is invited! But just the general chatter about an event that I mentioned earlier probably isn’t rude. It’s just general conversation between friends that happens to be more public than face to face. Hurt feelings are to be expected, but I guess that’s the consequences of being a part of social media. Another thing I’ve noticed is that some hosts will send individual invites to an event, but then also post the event on their wall and say if you want to come to this event, you’re welcome to. Well, if you really wanted me there, wouldn’t I have received an individual invite? It’s like those people are on some ‘B’ list.

    And I hear the op about the high number of invitees! Some months ago, two friends of mine got married, and the wedding/reception was at the house of one of their parents. They invited about 150 people via a Facebook event, way too many to fit in the house! I was wondering what they would do should nearly everyone RSVP yes, lol. Thankfully size-wise, only about half could make it. I don’t know why people do that. If they were sending them via evite or snail mail, they probably wouldn’t have such a large count. Is it just because of ease?

  • AS September 30, 2013, 11:02 am

    The mother who called the party is incredibly rude. And lazy. We do have friends invite on facebook, but they are polite enough to message on the invite page of the facebook, and not on their status. For heaven’s sake, it only requires 2 more clicks! And you’ll offend far less number of people.

    I think the non-invitees who messaged were throwing hints to the mother, and she didn’t even care to reply nicely. Agreed that you should not fish for invitation, but the mother made a bigger faux pas.

    It also strikes me to be odd that the mother is inviting her/their friends for her 9 or 10 year old son’s birthday. It makes sense when a child is a toddler and doesn’t have any friends of his own. But wouldn’t the mother invite friends of the child? Otherwise, is it just an excuse for the parents to have fun while the son is left out on his birthday? Seriously, how much can a 10 year old enjoy an all adults party (unless the adults are grandparents/aunts or uncles, or very close friends of parents who know and love the child like parents, which doesn’t seem to be the case here)?

  • mark September 30, 2013, 11:09 am

    There is plenty of tactlessness to go around in this situation. But a facebook wall is a person’s personal bulletin board on steroids. If you want to read someone’s bulletin board. Then you shouldn’t be surprised that they have a life that doesn’t always include you.. If that is too much for you too handle then perhaps you shouldn’t read it.

    I also think that FaceBook is poorly named. It would be much better named “DramaBook”. I think this article shows a very good example of this.

  • Charlie September 30, 2013, 11:27 am

    Here’s some Facebook etiquette from a 21yr old:
    1. If the event is private, invitation only, make it a private, closed event where guests cannot invite other guests. It is common to post in the information area about guests (eg. Let me know well in advance if you’re bringing a date, or no dates allowed). If this is the case and the host chooses after to post photos of said party, they do it knowing everyone who wasn’t invited will also see it. All information about the event is posted on the event wall, so it’s only seen by attendees.
    2. If the event is semi private but casual, such as group drinks on a Friday night, make it private but it’s okay to add ‘just add anyone I’ve forgotten or anyone who’d like to come, see you there!’ This way it’s not a Facebook free-for-all, but it’s still open.
    3. To make an open, public event is for any event which is just that. It will show up on everyone’s news feeds and everyone is invited. If it’s not open but it’s an open Facebook event, the person is clearly tacky and attention seeking. If someone commented ‘..if I was invited’ to one of those events, it’s generally sarcasm to point out how rude the host is.

    The problem is that while with mail letters you can send ‘wish you could come’ token invites, it’s harder with Facebook because there’s more social pressure when others can see how popular your event is. It also makes it more casual, even if the event is black tie. Bottom line is that as easy as it can be to post thoughtless posts thinking of who you want to see it, your 600+ other Facebook friends will also see it, and remember it. And a friend who shows blatant disregard and thoughtlessness for others feelings over Facebook will definitely do the same in real life.

  • Mer September 30, 2013, 11:46 am

    Alexis: I think that comes from the overly annoying facebook event invitation box. It is hard to see and “mentally” register who you have already invited, and as you scroll the list, just not notice some person. At least I have old childhood schoolmates in facebook who live in different cities and who I will not call to my casual “sauna and punch” birthday party.

    However, at least I have thought that it is also possible to post on the facebook event wall and that would then only be visible for invited guests. That is not harder than writing on your own wall, so it would be other option.

    Ha, and I would not even think 100+ guests to casual birthday is _that_ bad. Granted, I would not host that amount of people at my home, 30 is reasonable enough, and as usually in my social circle, birthdays are “you come and you go” parties, so most probably people won’t be in at the same time. But 100+ invitations if you rent a sauna is not that bad. With students, it’s not that uncommon to have quite large casual social circle especially for those who actively participate in guilds or clubs.

  • Hannadork September 30, 2013, 11:46 am

    I never, ever take a mass invite or a posting on a wall as an actual invite to me, and therefore I ignore them mostly (I guess if they were close family I would pay more attention). Sometimes I enjoy seeing these wall invites, cause then I can go “shew, now I can choose to ignore that 9 year old’s birthday” cause she didn’t invite me personally. I’m pretty sure that most posters know that not many will take those kinds of invites seriously anyway.

  • Calli Arcale September 30, 2013, 11:47 am

    Don’t worry, OP, you are not wrong and it has NOT become acceptable to do stuff like that! People will still do it, because the boors will always be with us; human nature being what it is, some people will simply not grasp the point of social niceties for whatever reason, and sometimes it’s nothing more than they just don’t care how they come across to other people.

    Personally, for my daughters’ birthday parties, I’ve always been assuming at least two extra guests, unless by some miracle everybody RSVPs. And I never nag for RSVPs. The only time I’d nag is if it’s for a wedding and the person who hasn’t responded is close enough family that they’d be seated at the front of the church. And the “nag” would be done as gently as possible, understanding that it probably just slipped their mind and you just want to know if they’re bringing a guest and whether there are any food allergies to consider.

  • Hello! September 30, 2013, 11:51 am

    Oh I love facebook-only invites!! 🙂 That means I can feign total oblivion when the sinner says “why weren’t you at the ________” When they say “I posted it on my facebook”, then I can say “oh I rarely look at facebook, if you want me somewhere, you got to actually talk to me”. I can escape so many of those gimme events/parties that way!!!

  • Allie September 30, 2013, 11:54 am

    Have you heard of a blog called STFU Parents? Google it with “birthday” and you’ll see all sorts of these. It is, indeed, a trend. Perhaps someday our brains will catch up with our technology.

  • Weaver September 30, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Ugh. If she needs “to know exactly who is coming to Tommy’s birthday party on August 20th. I need a head count for treat bags and to make sure we have enough food,” then perhaps she should contact her invitees directly. You know, like a normal person.
    Your friend sounds at best clueless & tacky and at worst self-absorbed & rude. I’d hold off on directing anymore etiquette lessons at her; I doubt it’s worth it.

  • June First September 30, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I don’t see the non-invitees as rude for responding that way to the mom’s all-encompassing post.

    Think of it this way: sometimes when I create a Facebook event, I get a little “box-checking happy” and accidentally invite friends who live across the country to a local event near me. Sometimes they’ll decline with half-joking, “Sorry, but I won’t be able to make the trip for your party!”. Not because they don’t care, but because they live in California. This has only happened once or twice, because now I make sure I invite people to events they’ll likely be able to attend.

    I think of the “I’d love to come, if I had only received an invitation” as a gentle reminder that she probably should have posted it privately.

    When I was reading how she thought it was easier to post it on her wall, I immediately thought, “What’s easy isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always easy”, although the amount of time it takes to post on the event wall vs your own wall is about 10 seconds longer.

  • Anne September 30, 2013, 12:38 pm

    What about the children’s feelings that were not invited? To have a mother post this without considerating that kids would see this and feel left out, is very inconsiderate. I realize children are going to have their feelings hurt at times, but this kind of thing borders on cruel. It is not a one time, hey we had a party and you weren’t invited but a stepped up constance reminder that they aren’t being invited. This is the reason teachers do not want party invites handed out in school, it causes hurt feelings, bewilderment and sometimes aggression between the haves and the have nots.

  • PHW September 30, 2013, 1:14 pm

    I’m with @Lo on this one. I also view Facebook invitations as non-invitations. I have used FB private message centre to help coordinate parties before, but still distributed hardcopy invitations. Although personally, I have yet to see anything outside of Stag and Doe invites so far. Those open gift grabs are a whole etiquette issue in themselves which have already been discussed in depth over on Hell’s Bells.

    When it comes to parties, I still prefer a nice mailed invitation, either email or snail mail is fine with me. Or even better, a phone call! On a sidenote, my husband has a relative who has parties all the time (kid’s birthdays, family get-togethers). One of my pet peeves with her is that we always receive invitations verbally second-hand or even third-hand (through MIL or SIL). It always used to make me wonder if maybe we weren’t meant to be invited and that is why the invitations never came direct (they have our contact details). Since I didn’t want to be a gate crasher, I actually contacted her one time to ask her if we had been invited since we hadn’t heard from her. Her response was that it was just easier to tell one person and have them relay everything on down through the family grapevine and that we were definitely invited to come.

  • just4kicks September 30, 2013, 1:23 pm

    My 9 year old daughter got an “invitation” which was just hand written by the girl who was having the party. She told my girl she had run out of real invitations. My daughter was upset when I said she couldn’t go unless she got a real one or the birthday girls mom called me. I didn’t want to show up with a last minute invite the mom probably didn’t know about, or was counting on in her head count.

  • Miss Raven September 30, 2013, 1:28 pm

    It’s exactly this phenomenon that has led to a few rules in my house:

    1. A Facebook invitation is not an invitation so much as it is an alert that there will be an event taking place. This is the explanation for the constant “invitations” to events with 50 – 200 people invited. If there are more than 30-some people invited, I generally accept that I haven’t been personally extended an invitation to the event, but have been just alerted, en masse, with the rest of this person’s friendslist.

    2. In regards to creating a Facebook event, you should know:
    “Yes” means “Maybe”
    “Maybe” means “No”
    “No” means either “I already have plans” or “I hate you”
    “No response” means the invitee likely feels you are guilty of #1, above.

    In terms of your friend, OP, it seems to me like she is a willful boor. She knows that her behavior is rude and potentially hurtful, and she knows how to adjust her behavior, but she doesn’t want to. Forget her. She seems awful.

  • Dee September 30, 2013, 1:28 pm

    You have a friend who has a child (9 years old? 10? you don’t even know!) you’ve never met? This is called an acquaintance, not a friend. Facebook is for superficial contact amongst acquaintances, and for friends who do their more personal catching-up in a private and meaningful way. People need to understand that and then move off of Facebook for their personal connections. This woman is not inviting people to her child’s birthday party via Facebook; what she did is NOT an invitation. An invitation is a personal request submitted to each and every person personally. Good on her other acquaintances for calling her on her rudeness; now they all need to put this in perspective and stop communicating with this person and go make that phone call or visit to their real friends. Yeesh!

  • Barbarian September 30, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Is there a better way to handle electronic invitations such as E-vite, e-mail, or a website for the event?

    This whole process is new to me. I did it the old-fashioned way-snail mail, paper, or phone calls.
    I would like to hear how these should be handled if Ms. Jeanne has not already said anything about it in earlier parts of the board.

    If not, it would be a great idea to have a section that explains the proper use of these methods.

  • Kaye September 30, 2013, 1:37 pm

    She sounds like the kind of person who probably does talk about parties in front of people who aren’t invited. Not only does she come across as lazy, she also comes across as obtuse/oblivious—because she’s probably one of the first who’d be offended if someone else talked (or posted publicly) repeatedly about a party that she’s not invited to, without making the connection between them as having the same behavior at the root of the issue.

  • MichelleP September 30, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Anyone else heard the news story of the girl who put her bday party on Facebook and 2,000+ people showed up??

  • AnaMaria September 30, 2013, 1:40 pm

    They only way I can see this being acceptable is if it’s followed with a line saying, “By the way, if you didn’t receive an invite and would like to come celebrate with us, message me!” or something like that. Of course, even then, I would feel awkward asking for an invite. It takes two clicks to get to your events and message all invitees in a facebook event – people pulling things like this are either incredibly lazy or just want to rub it in everyone’s faces that they aren’t invited!

  • NbyNW September 30, 2013, 2:16 pm


    I totally agree that it was (complete) laziness on the Mom’s part but I cannot fault her non-invited friends for thinking that surely she would not be badgering them for an RSVP if she had not invited them in the first place. I would wonder if I had perhaps overlooked the invite or that she had meant to send one to me but had inadvertently neglected to do so or there had been a glitch in Facebook’s system.


    I don’t see where the “non-invitees” we’re being snippy at all. These were people who apparently care enough about “lazy mom” and her family to be willing to come celebrate her child’s birthday (and no doubt spend their money on a present) only to be told “If I wanted to invite YOU you would have gotten an invitation.” I think there was snippyness involved in this exchange but not on the part of those who RSVPed. If I were one of these friends I would be backing full speed ahead away from this relationship.

  • Ergala September 30, 2013, 2:46 pm

    @Dee we’ve known each other since graded school. We were best buds for years. I recently moved back to the area after being gone for several years. She’s never met my children either. We just do not live close to each other. I have many friends who have moved away….a friend of mine just had baby and I haven’t seen her in at least 12 or 15 years but we still chat daily and laugh over parenting whoops we both make. It’s like we were never apart.

  • Mer September 30, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Anne: On the other hand, kids should not be on Facebook at all (due to the 13 year age limit there is, also, common sense) and parents are responsible if the kids see something there they are not supposed to see or might hurt their feelings. But your second point, I do think it’s fine that invites are not given in school or daycare unless whole group is invited. I think that’s quite common here too. Or maybe “all girls” or “all boys” are also acceptable options if whole group is too big.

    just4kicks: I have to say, that in your case, I probably would have contacted the mom. It’s not impossible at all that if the kid was writing the invitations, one could have been messed up and could not be used. Kids at that age are not always that secure with their writing and at least here, they sell kids bdayparty invitation forms in relatively small packages, 5-10 pcs, so there might not have been any extras. (I don’t have kids, but just while ago I had to get some invitations for my friend’s kid as the store which sold them was in the city I worked, 2.5h away from the city the friend lives. That’s why I was thinking that they also might not be able to just drop in store to get some more invites.)

    So if the invitation seemed to have all the normal information, it might well have been genuine and the mom had no idea that you would think their invitation was fake and is wondering why you did not rsvp. Of course if the invitation was more like A4 with “pluase come to My Birtdayparty!!!” and nothing else, your course of action is reasonable.

  • kingsrings September 30, 2013, 3:30 pm

    “I had a friend post a Facebook status that said, “Partied with 50 of my closest friends this weekend!”, with no thought as to how that would appear to the 100+ other friends who had not been invited.”

    Now that is a good example of a rude post! First of all, no reason to give a number, other than to brag about how many close friends one has, and to stick it to those who weren’t invited. Childish flaunting. I don’t know if it’s necessarily rude to post about having fun with friends at a party, but definitely keep it vague if you were the host and didn’t invite all of your friends.

  • Marozia September 30, 2013, 3:36 pm

    To me, this social media e-vites are insane!!
    Whatever happened to good old-fashioned paper invites & RSVP over the phone?
    And yes, it is considered rude to discuss parties/events that others are not invited to.

  • Angie September 30, 2013, 4:54 pm

    Another problem with issuing a general wall post is that not everyone will see it. If a person has lots of Facebook friends, they are not going to see your post if it’s buried amongst lots of other people’s. As others have said, a more effective (and polite) way of making sure you reach everyone who is invited to an event is to send a message through the event page.

  • Barbarian September 30, 2013, 5:02 pm

    Referring to a party venue that would take place away from your home on a public Facebook posting would be a way of announcing to strangers you’re not going to be home at a certain time & date-it could be an unintended invite to get your house robbed., Just like you should not announce your vacation plans there either. It is a common practice for funerals to have someone stay at home and watch the house during the wake and funeral to prevent robberies since death notices are usually announced in the newspaper.

  • Kimstu September 30, 2013, 5:28 pm

    @Barbarian: “Is there a better way to handle electronic invitations such as E-vite, e-mail, or a website for the event?
    This whole process is new to me. I did it the old-fashioned way-snail mail, paper, or phone calls.
    I would like to hear how these should be handled if Ms. Jeanne has not already said anything about it in earlier parts of the board.”

    See a previous HellsBells post where Admin pointed out some of the drawbacks of commercial “free” invitation management sites like Evite, which harvest your guests’ contact data for resale to spammers:


    Personal email invitations aren’t guilty of that kind of invasion of privacy (unless the NSA is reading all of them as we speak, ha ha ha yikes), but I think at the current stage of technology they’re still considered significantly more informal than a traditional snail-mail invitation.

    I’d say a personal email invitation is more or less on a level with a personal phone call invitation (if you actually email all your guests separate messages, that is; sending all the guests the same mass-mailing message is more like adding them to a Facebook event.)

  • Lo September 30, 2013, 7:01 pm


    I think read more animosity into the response of the friends who weren’t invited than others did.

    I agree with you that I wouldn’t want to be in a friendship with someone who treated me that way.

  • Jenn50 September 30, 2013, 7:16 pm

    I am really tired of people vilifying Facebook for others’ bad behaviour. It’s a tool, like any other, and some people are too clueless to wield it safely. It doesn’t make it a bad tool.

    And I don’t understand the notion that it’s somehow wrong to use Facebook or email to issue invitations. It’s just another medium; no better, no worse. I’m picturing these same people back when telephones were invented, complaining that people obviously didn’t care, or they’d mail the invitation, not call. And before then, complaining that they shouldn’t have mailed it, they should have hand delivered it. Why not use new technology, as long as you do so politely? Don’t talk about parties in front of people who aren’t invited, regardless of the medium.

  • Vicki September 30, 2013, 7:35 pm

    It’s only “easier” if she ignores the time and effort of responding to the people who saw the public posts and asked if they were invited, and also doesn’t count the effect of having told a bunch of her friends and acquaintances “I not only don’t have room for you (or, maybe, don’t want you) at this party, I don’t care if you’re unhappy about being constantly reminded of that.” And, secondarily, the effect on the people who were invited, and have already replied: at some point I will say something like “I already agreed to do that, please stop trying to convince me” or even “What part of ‘yes, thank you’ didn’t you understand?”

  • Kate September 30, 2013, 9:03 pm

    I do think it’s rude. As OP pointed out, there are other options. The host could send individual messages to people whose RSVPs she is still chasing, or could put a group post on the event page where only those who were invited could see it.
    This sounds like the host is just trying to show off that she’s hosting a party to everyone, whether they have the ‘privilege’ of being invited or not.

  • hakayama September 30, 2013, 9:48 pm

    @Ergala: From my very vintage vantage, I’d like to strongly suggest that you gradually detach yourself from the “friend” in question. You just don’t need the even occasional agita.

    Holy smokes, Batman! “CREATE AN EVENT”??? I’ve seen so many situations where the lofty “create” was used instead of a pedestrian “make”, “establish”, “formulate”, “prepare”, etc… but how the dickens does one CREATE an event? Is it a bit akin to starting out by separating the land and water? 😉 Like in the Genesis?

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