Look, I love technology as much as the next person, but there is one new norm from the virtual world we’ve created that I secretly despise: Facebook invites. Sure, they are convenient and easy, but for the host, Facebook invites are a total nightmare.
In general, it seems that Facebook has turned into a manners-free forum. People have no qualms over declaring you a fill-in-the-insulting-blank just because of your personal lifestyle choices, political leanings, or even how you choose to raise your children. I’m all for speaking your mind, but sometimes it seems like the comments section comes with a “rudeness encouraged” sign at the entrance door. Surely, people would not verbally attack others this way in person, yet from behind the safety of their screens, fingers are furiously ranting.
For the most part, I take deep breaths and move on when I encounter viewpoints that irk me, but as a new business owner that relies heavily on social media, I have become very disheartened by the way people approach Facebook invites.
Obviously, I’m probably not going to be able to convince millions of people to return to lovely traditional, snail-mail invitations any time soon — it’s a miracle “thank you” cards still exist — but in an effort to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone, I’ve come up with some basic etiquette points and tips. Take them or leave them, but please consider them.
1. Acknowledge the Invite
Someone has taken the time to create an event on Facebook. Do you know how annoying this is? First, you have to Google what size the event image needs to be (again); then you need to mess with it and try to figure out why it’s still getting cut off. Next, your event needs a title — something catchy, but not too long, that makes your guests say, yes! I need to be there. The pressure is intense. After all that, you still need to figure out a description! The least you can do is just respond to the invite. A simple “Going” or “Not Going” will do.
2. Don’t Be a No-Show
If you think that clicking that “Going” button even though you probably aren’t going to go is a good idea because you will make the host feel better about his or her invite, you are mistaken. The only thing you’ll be doing is costing the host or hostess money since they will actually think you are going to show up, which means they are going to get the family size bag of cheesy puffs. Then, when you don’t show up, they are going to eat way too many cheesy puffs and their fingers will be orange for days.
3. Respect the Time
I’ve never understood people’s fear of being the first one at a party — I mean, hello, you get first dibs at the shrimp ring — but, whatever, it’s cool. In my opinion, the first half hour is open game for arrival. Once you start going into 45 minutes to an hour past the start time, you’re late. If you’re showing up two hours after the start time, guess what, the party is probably over, because, despite my youthful skin, I actually am not in college anymore. Alas.
4. Use the “Maybe” Responsibly
If I could eliminate the “Maybe” option from Facebook invites, I totally would. The problem is that people don’t usually follow up after clicking Maybe. I get it; we’re all busy and Facebook has become a jumble of events, groups, and drama. But, personally, I just wait until I know for sure if I can go or not. As a host, there’s nothing worse than getting that notification that so-and-so might go to your event, and then you never hear from them again. I will say there are many people who do use the Maybe button responsibly and this is not aimed at you. But when I get a notification that someone might go to my event and the event starts in an hour, I mean, why? Surely, you know by now what your plans are in the next 60 minutes.