General Etiquette > Techno-quette

The Facebook gift grab (or just another day online?)

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A "friend" who's getting married soon and whose wedding invitation is a public Facebook event (with a few hundred people deliberately invited but an open invitation so any of their friends can RSVP, I think -- I wasn't tagged in it (we barely know each other) but I can see it) just posted her online registry as a Facebook status.

She's been sharing every last wedding detail on FB, as is her norm, but I'm wondering, is an oversharer just expected to share these kinds of things? Does her routine oversharing and basically open wedding invitation affect your view of how appropriate this is?

I just smiled (OK, and looked at what she's asking for -- not that it matters, I was just curious) because I am not attending, but what do you all think?

I think this is at least partially due to the fact that social media encourages people to document every little thing they experience. There isn't, as yet, any accepted guide (other than FB terms of service) about what to cover. So, if you're caught up in wedding stuff, you write endlessly about your wedding. I would not consider that a gift grab, unless large parts were devoted to what the BTB expected her readers to give her.

The idea of the open invitation is mindboggling, though. What if everyone decides to show up? Would she have room?

Facebook is part of real life, not separate from it. Therefore all etiquette rules really do apply. and one of the most basic rules of etiquette, one everyone should know by school age, certainly by wedding age is: it is rude to openly discuss a party in front of people not invited to the party.  Your friend is being appallingly rude and crass.

Facebook is very easy to manage - one can quickly and with minimal effort selectively post so only some people see specific updates. She is choosing not to, she is choosing to break one of the most base and easy rules of polite behavior. And by posting her registry info, she is adding insult to injury by acting greedy.

Some business apps will post to your timeline--not quite automatically, you usually do need to OK it--but it's sandwiched in with a dozen other things you need to click and confirm and click some more, and you can end up posting by accident or not realizing the FB share isn't mandatory to use that registry. If she didn't tack on a personal message--if it looks automated at all--I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and think that the registry posted it for her, or close to it.

But it sounds like everyone is invited...which seems crazy, maybe even tacky.

I wouldn't post a wedding or baby registry online, but I don't think posting about an upcoming wedding (or even post wedding) is rude simply because everyone online isn't invited.  I mean, when people get engaged, a lot more than just the invitees to the actual wedding know about it...and it's pretty obvious that following an engagement comes a wedding.  I seriously doubt that everyone operates under some polite fiction that if they weren't invited, it's because there was no ceremony/reception.  And I would hope that everyone on someone's friend list, doesn't expect that they would be invited to every life event simply due to Facebook status.

The thing about Facebook is that we document our lives...and we invite people to see that.  If I couldn't post or talk about anything on Facebook if everyone wasn't invited, I'd have nothing to talk about.  I get together with friends and we take pictures and post them on facebook.  I go to birthday parties that end up on facebook.  Weddings, christenings, showers, etc.  All there.  And I know that the 300+ friends that some people have weren't all at the party. 

I really think there's a big difference between say a group of four friends having a conversation, where three of them talk about plans that they are excluding the first from and someone posting about wedding plans on FB.  The former, I think is rude and where the etiquette rule applies.  The latter, not so much.

But, as for the open invitation to the wedding and the wedding it a gift grab?  I don't know...but it does seem off.  Who has the budget to say they can accommodate anyone and everyone that might want to show up?  And who would even want to issue an open wedding invitation much less attend one of someone you barely know?


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