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The Entire World Is Invited To My Baby Shower

So today I saw an invitation on Facebook for a baby shower. Seeing it had my SIL attending I opened it up. First thing I read was “It’s a Girl!” which shocked me as I thought my SIL is expecting a little boy. I soldiered on, taking note of the location. I saw 11 were attending…17 were Maybe…82 were not and 387 awaiting reply.  387??

I searched the invite text and realized that the person who created this invitation was NOT a friend of my SIL’s throwing said SIL a party, but a friend of my SIL who was throwing HERSELF a baby shower—with an invite open to the public. Oh, and in case anyone needed it, she was registered at (baby store) and here was her registry number. I took a quick peek at the registry and was pleasantly surprised to see it was for a reasonable number of useful items that varied in price, not the usually Gimme registry for expensive items no baby would ever need.

Then I saw a post that made me laugh. One of the invitees had posted to the event wall,  “Congrats on your baby, but I don’t even know you, and don’t know why I was invited!”    I had to decline as well.

Let this be a lesson that, if one is to make an online invitation to an event, it is best to mark it as private NOT public. 0802-11


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • J's Mama August 3, 2011, 8:58 am

    My feeling is, if someone doesn’t have the courtesy to send me a personal invitation or evite, than they don’t deserve a response. That is absolutely ridiculous, and a total gift grab. I’m going to take a wild guess, that the mother-to-be will neglect to send thank you notes for the people who did attend.

  • Aje August 3, 2011, 9:08 am

    That’s called being lazy. As if sending an invitation out on facebook isn’t lazy enough. Not that I’m bashing it for all occasions, but considering you used to have to write all those addresses on envelopes, figure out a guest list, buy invitations, buy stamps, etc., I think you can find the energy to do a few mouseclicks!

  • yellowroseofchicago August 3, 2011, 9:15 am

    I have had not one, but TWO wedding invitations sent in a similar fashion over Facebook. It kills me! The worst part was that I didn’t really know either of the couples that were getting married. They had done a similar invite style, where the pretty much just invited everyone on their friend list, which meant hundreds of people, mostly acquaintances. It makes me reconsider the “friends” that I keep on that website.

  • Wink-n-Smile August 3, 2011, 9:18 am

    There’s a reason why mailing invitations is still a good idea.

  • Angel August 3, 2011, 9:46 am

    “Let this be a lesson that, if one is to make an online invitation to an event, it is best to mark it as private NOT public.”

    That seems to imply that the letter writer was invited by mistake, simply because the invitation was public. Not true. If that were the case, LW might see the invitation under “friends events”, but she would not have specifically received it, and neither would the 387 people who have yet to respond. The person giving the shower didn’t just mark it public, she sent out invitations to hundreds of people – probably everyone she is friends with on facebook, as well as their friends.

  • tara August 3, 2011, 9:51 am

    this is how that 16 year old girl in germany ended up with police protection at her house when she posted a party on facebook. people are idiots.

  • Gracie C. August 3, 2011, 10:03 am

    I just want to point out based on your “I had to decline” comment – that you weren’t actually invited to the party. It showed up (I’m assuming – based on how FB works and your description) under events your friends are attending/invited to. It was public, which meant you could view it, not that you were invited. It wasn’t actually an invitation to you, so you have nothing to decline. I suspect the person that replied misunderstood that as well.

    Now – that does not change the fact that the offender did apparently invite her entire FB friends list, which is insane. I wonder, for a second, what she would do if all 387 people replied with, “Wonderful! Can’t wait to see you!” Just once I think if a couple people “got what they asked for” and had to host a gigantic party for that many people, then these insane “invitations” (really just a grab for more gifts) would stop.

  • Pixie August 3, 2011, 10:06 am

    That is too funny. Who does that kind of thing?

  • Psyche August 3, 2011, 10:11 am

    I understand. I friended random people on Facebook just for the purpose of having neighbors on my games. I have gotten invites to join coupon groups simply because I happened to be one’s friend. The “no” button is your friend!

    Points for not being a gimmie pig. Maybe she didn’t know about how to set it to private?

  • Enna August 3, 2011, 10:19 am

    Someone may have slipped up on the invite button – she may not have meant to invite everyone. Some etiqutte breaches are more serious then others I don’t think this is a major one condsidering the discription of the registry:

    “was pleasantly surprised to see it was for a reasonable number of useful items that varied in price, not the usually Gimme registry for expensive items no baby would ever need.”

    It does remeind me on the recent submission of “have baby get food” – bit of a blunder.

  • Carnation August 3, 2011, 10:42 am

    How delightfully embarrassing.

  • sashathebrit August 3, 2011, 11:23 am

    But…but you weren’t invited…

    Therefore it’s not your problem.

  • Justine August 3, 2011, 11:24 am

    She must be playing the odds. “If I invite 400, maybe 50 will show up but 125 will send gifts!!”

  • Teapot August 3, 2011, 11:30 am

    Sadly, universal invitations were around long before computers were so readily available. A woman who worked in my building (not office or even department) was getting married at least 20 years ago. She went to almost every department housed there and hung up a piece of lined paper with the date and location of her wedding on the top. It was a sign-up sheet! If you wanted to come, just write your name and how many people you were bringing with you so she would have a total for the caterer. Except for the groom, who also worked in the building, I don’t think anyone attended.

  • Alan August 3, 2011, 11:37 am

    Write individual emails for invitations. Using Facebook for anything is risky. It has gotten too big and has attracted the creepy crowd. Its like a once nice neighborhood gone seedy.

  • Louise August 3, 2011, 11:39 am

    I would presume the woman hit the wrong button and accidentally invited hundreds of people. Which doesn’t negate the faux pas of throwing a shower for yourself, but makes more sense to me.

    This is the story of the girl in Germany who accidentally publicized a birthday party invite and 1,500 people showed up. I’m sure it was frightening at the time, but the fact people brought gifts and cake makes me giggle. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/05/facebook-party-out-of-control_n_871473.html

  • AS August 3, 2011, 11:42 am

    If you directly got the invite, did you check who sent it to you? Maybe the hostess had invited only a few people and someone else invited everyone else. Or probably the hostess clicked “invite all” by mistake. If someone said that they don’t even know the hostess, chances are that someone else sent the invites, or mistook “friend’s events” on facebook to be an invitation.

    If the hostess did mean to invite everyone, something is wrong with her.

    All said I don’t like facebook invites except for generic parties (like departmental or grad school unofficial parties where lot of people are invited). I prefer personal invites for Birthday parties, but so many of my friends invite on facebook that I have given up taking offence because otherwise I’ll have to become a hermit (and we usually don’t buy any gifts for the Birthday girl/boy, so it is not a gift-grab). I don’t think showers and weddings should be invited via facebook. Period.

  • Xtina August 3, 2011, 11:46 am

    There are some things that just should not be done via Facebook. It may kill trees and it may cost a little money and time, but a mailed invitation is far more personal, thoughtful, proper, and welcomed than a mass FB post (and there are still some people out there like me who hardly ever get on FB and would miss important posts–not everyone uses it!). And I would never invite people that I barely know; it just screams “gift grab”.

  • Andi August 3, 2011, 11:55 am

    Reminds me of a webcomic I like to frequent. One day the author posted an announcement letting her readers know that she was expecting and that there’d be fewer updates a week. Nothing wrong there, but then she posted a big link to a gift registry for her baby. Someone must’ve said something to her, because her next post was a message assuring the readership that they didn’t have to buy her stuff.

  • Riri August 3, 2011, 12:50 pm

    “Congrats on your baby, but I don’t even know you, and don’t know why I was invited!” < LOL I’m sure many people had that sentiment. At least baby showers are ok territory for facebook event invite (along with birthday parties and other informal parties) provided the event is made private, and guest list is mad pruned. I once saw a facebook event created for a funeral and set as public… hmmm…

  • DGS August 3, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Oy…ridiculous AND lazy.

  • SHOEGAL August 3, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I hope that things are going in a direction where no one sends out paper invites anymore. I have to say and I suppose I am old fashioned but I prefer paper invitations – mailed. The invite that says “let’s go our for drinks tonight” – ok text or email me – I’m fine with that. I don’t use Facebook – I don’t want to use Facebook – so sorry I won’t get your invitation that way. I consider baby/ bridal showers and weddings too formal to be on Facebook or for a quick email. I think these people can make the effort – to write my name on an envelope and mail it out.

  • ellesee August 3, 2011, 1:57 pm

    By also making the event public, the guests can also invite other guests and so forth without the host’s knowledge. So this could have easily ballooned up to 300+ invites. Although I have no idea why other guests would invite others OR why people would rsvp to an event that’s obviously not meant for them.
    I think she meant for it to be between her friends but forgot to hit the private button, which would limit the ability to see the event to only the guests and restrict inviting new guests to only the host. If she really just did a mass invite to all her FB friends, then……ugh, she’s just fishing for whoever to come by (sometimes my friends do this when there is a clubbing event or a real public event they want to spread the word about ie Ren Faire).

    @ Gracie: she was invited– “So today I saw an invitation on Facebook for a baby shower.” She just noticed that her SIL was also attending (since FB also alerts people which friends are also in attendance). Possibly the SIL invited her to this event.

  • Elle August 3, 2011, 2:20 pm

    This strikes me as more of a technical error by someone unfamiliar with how the invites work than something “rude.” (Basing this one having seen similar things from my friends and the fact that the registry was reasonable).

  • Sarah Jane August 3, 2011, 2:43 pm

    No matter whom she invites…she’s still throwing the shower for HERSELF. Just sad.

  • Thel August 3, 2011, 3:04 pm

    There are no baby showers in my country, but I thought one is not supposed to host their own showers? If so, I see it as definitely a sign of “gimme pig” rather than an honest mistake, since her line of thought has probably been “I want presents > Nobody is hosting a shower for me > I’ll invite everybody and their mother and that will (somehow) *show them*!”

    EvilMe *so* wishes those 387 would reply in the affirmative and see her madly backpedalling out of it!

  • Angeldrac August 3, 2011, 4:35 pm

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, again and suggest the highly likely idea that this was the first time she had ever done a Facebook invite and got confused about who she was inviting and the public vs. private thing.
    Don’t roast her too quickly, guys – this situation is too silly to have been intentional, so we shouldn’t be judging the poor girl with getting first hand information. (Don’t want to be making UNINFORMED ASSUMPIONS, now, do we?)

  • Angeldrac August 3, 2011, 4:43 pm

    Oh, and btw, it’s not uncommon in my community for girls to have their own baby showers, because, for us, it’s not really seen as a “gifting” event, more of a celebration of the baby that’s on it’s way, and chance for all the girls and ladies to get together and have fun. Not a “formal event” with registers at all – to us that would be considered very weird. And, personally, I like our version better then the formal gifty, decorations all over the place, handwritten-thank-yous-or-else, huge stork shaped cake versions that I hear about from the USA.

  • Katy August 3, 2011, 4:49 pm

    I might get jumped on for this, but for ‘minor, informal’ parties, I have set up facebook invites. Birthday party for my three year old? Facebook. Backyard BBQ? Facebook. For anything with a bit of formality to it I still use paper invites, but as long as it’s set to private and I’m careful about the guest list I don’t see any harm in doing a few e-vites.
    That being said, IF inviting around 500 guests was intentional (387 waiting for response, 7o-something declines, 11 yes and 17 no), I don’t care what kind of items are on the registry. It’s very gimmie-gimmie. Especially if she’s holding it for herself.

  • Marie Anne August 3, 2011, 6:49 pm

    In response to Riri, I can completely understand why someone would post a funeral on Facebook. A friend of mine passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last year. He was in college, so his friends were scattered all over three or four states, and his family happened to be widespread as well. Given that you have very little time to alert everyone before a funeral, and no one is really thinking clearly, I think a Facebook invite is a good way to make sure no one gets missed.

  • Liz August 3, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Facebook make little changes to its layout and operation all the time, its extremely easy to make a mistake on the invite list -though it more likely that you’ll forget someone rather than invite every one. There have been cases of kids forgetting to make their house parties private and thousands respond.

    As for the baby shower invite via facebook thing, are baby showers that formal? They aren’t that common in Australia and it’s more likely to be casual get together, which is perfectly appropriate for facebook invites. I’m just thinking now that I invited people to my 21st via facebook, while most others made a formal printed invite… I only had a small gathering, but it was a lot easier to keep track of who was coming and who wasn’t -which was more important for my type of party as I went to a restaurant with tickets, rather than a pub/bar that is more relaxed on numbers. Hmmm. Facebook also meant I could send out reminders easily.

    My BF received a save the date for a wedding through facebook… I don’t think it’s a bad idea, I’d still do formal invites to the wedding. The turn around on FB is so much quicker, people open their mail then they put it on the table and forget about it.

    Now I’m just rambling… I know I’m meant to think that social media is teh evils and it’s ruining our way of life, but I just think its a great method of communication when used appropriately.

  • Mary August 3, 2011, 10:13 pm

    “I just want to point out based on your “I had to decline” comment – that you weren’t actually invited to the party. It showed up (I’m assuming – based on how FB works and your description) under events your friends are attending/invited to. It was public, which meant you could view it, not that you were invited. It wasn’t actually an invitation to you, so you have nothing to decline. I suspect the person that replied misunderstood that as well.”

    I agree with Gracie C. I see invitations all the time under “My Events” and there is always an option for me to accept or decline. I don’t know these people and was not invited to these events. It only shows up because friends of mine were invited.

  • Gracie C. August 3, 2011, 10:39 pm

    @Ellesee – I disagree. Unless the OP chimes back in, her wording “I saw an invitation…” rather than “I got an invitation…” to me implies that in the right hand margin of her Facebook page under “Friends’ Events” she saw her SIL’s name and then a baby shower listed. She mistook that as a baby shower for her SIL and clicked on it, and then realized it wasn’t actually for her SIL but an event that her SIL was invited, too. She then read the page and noted the other things she mentioned in her post.

  • Chariset August 4, 2011, 2:25 am

    Oh, gentle naive soul, thinking this was accidental. The entire point was to get 400 people to look at the registry on the off chance that some of them might send a gift. Think of it as spamming, social-network stylee.

  • Riri August 4, 2011, 10:33 am

    @Marie Anne; My condolences to your friend and his family. I’ve never been to a Western funeral so I’m totally ignorant of how the whole process works. I thought a guestlist worked by invite and RSVP, like weddings? I can see that FB was a very useful tool for your friend’s family during that time and I’m sure people appreciated being informed. My main issue with FB invites for such somber events is the awkwardness of the “Attending” feature. When one cannot attend a house party or other informal event, it’s fine (and helpful to host!) to indicate “No”. But how does a guest say “No” (or “Maybe”, or not respond) to a funeral invitation? :/ They can explain prior appointments on event wall (or not), but I feel like there’s a certain cold-heartedness for clicking “No” to a funeral. 🙁 Just me?

  • Amanda Kate August 4, 2011, 3:29 pm

    That’s happened to me too. I got a Facebook invite to a shower from someone who lives in the U.S (I’m in Canada) and who I’ve never even met in person. I just clicked on no.

  • Jamesy August 4, 2011, 4:35 pm

    @Riri: Not just you. If, god forbid, I had to spread the word about a friend’s funeral, I would use the phone. There are some things you shouldn’t have to hear about on Facebook.

  • Michelle P August 5, 2011, 9:30 am

    Sorry, but I’m inclined to believe that it was intentional, although from what I’ve gathered the OP was not invited. I don’t get on facebook very often, but gave in to pressure and created a page, and occasionally go on. Once, a friend of mine was “invited” to a “honeymoon party” by a woman she knew. The woman’s son (I believe) was getting married. I saw the invite and link on my friend’s page and out of curiosity clicked on it. It was for a “party” to raise funds for the couple’s honeymoon. I couldn’t believe my eyes: surely this was a joke. Nope, no joke. This was not a reception, engagement party, absolutely no event whatsoever except people being invited to bring money. The “invite” openly stated the purpose of the “party”, and helpfully provided the couple’s PO Box address in case people couldn’t make it and wanted to “send well-wishes.”

    End facebook evites!!!

  • OP August 5, 2011, 2:56 pm

    This is my submission. (well, I should hope so as I am using “OP” as my comment name!)
    To answer: No, I was not specifically invited. However, in my mind when I saw a baby shower invite with my SIL’s picture on it, and knowing that this particular person was a personal friend of my SIL, I interpreted it as being her shower and something I should look into. Since the invite was set to public, I must presume that I was welcome to attend (or at least send a card to the listed address).
    I am FB friends only with “real” people whom I have seen and spent time with. Family mostly. I usually check my friends’ events because often the public events (street fairs, craft groups, informal game tournaments, etc) are something I share interest in and we end up meeting there and having a good time. Such as the “Big Latch On” tomorrow.
    If any curious minds are here, I checked when I saw my submission was posted; there are no new confirmed attendees, but several people have moved from “waiting for reply” to “not attending”. Several wall posts have statements along the lines of “I live in (other state) so it would be too long a trip, congratulations anyway!”
    Honestly I had a good laugh when I first saw it. I’ve heard stories about groups of teens crashing house parties advertised on FB public invites before, and with the etiquette issues mentioned (throwing it for herself, inviting her entire friends’ list regardless of their location and putting her registry information on the invitation) it seemed a good candidate for a world wide warning on this site.