I have a couple questions about event invitations and planning online. Here are two examples.
1. The reason I decided to write in. Today I logged onto Facebook, which is something I rarely do as I’m really not fond of the app. I saw I had notifications so I clicked to look and saw a party invite! The mother of an old friend who I haven’t seen for some time but have known since I was a teenager, was putting on a party for his birthday. Then with a sinking feeling I remembered that his birthday was at the beginning of the month. I thought, maybe the party for some reason is being put on later in the month. Nope. I’m seeing it 9 days after the party has passed. And the invites were only sent out online 7 days before the party. No one called, or texted, or even emailed me. They relied solely on the idea I’d see it on Facebook, and I didn’t and as a consequence I missed celebrating. Is this the norm now? Not even a call? Should I even bother to call or text him to explain?
2. In the same vein, I spent extensive time with a group of people for a month, living and working with them. When we returned to our various homes a few of them decided on a get together. They wanted to meet at an event that was local to them (I live three hours away). Many people liked up the post on Facebook and a few people had commented. I wrongly assumed that liking the post meant that they intended to go. As a result I traveled three hours, and only a few people were there and shocked I had come at all. Would you guys assume also that likes indicate participation? I should I have asked more questions?
I’d love to know what the ehellions think! 0926-16
Regarding situation #1, it is an unfortunate consequence of the social media era that people assume everyone must be on Facebook every single day. Facebook invitations for a birthday celebration seem so, well, superficial. When I host a significant event, I design paper invitations and mail them to my guests. I want them to get excited about receiving mail (it’s getting so rare these days) and put the invitation on their refrigerator which a lot do. With a mailed invitation I convey my serious intent to host the best darn party of the year and my guests know it.
I miss a few baby and wedding showers because the hostesses send the invitations via an online guest management site like evites.com and we block those sites at the server from ever getting email to me. (Read the privacy terms of service for these sites. They offer free services in exchange for you divulging your friends’ real names and valid email addresses which is then “shared” with their many business “partners”. Invasion of other people’s privacy and spam galore.) So, I know how it feels to miss various celebrations because someone used a service I won’t see. It gets amusing when the host assumes I received the email. One person actually chided me for being an etiquette guru who doesn’t RSVP to their invitations. “What invitation?”, I ask.
As for your second situation, it may have been presumptuous on your part to equate an interest in an event with an actual RSVP to attend. While people may like the idea of a get together, that doesn’t mean they can actually be there on the appointed date and time.