What ever happened to R.S.V.P.?
And no I do not mean ‘Australia’s largest online dating site’ (which actually introduced my Mum to her now husband). I’m talking about,
Répondez s’il vous plaît: The French phrase which means ‘please respond’ or literally ‘reply if you please.‘
Remember the days when you used to send out your party invites with a particular date assigned for when the recipient should acknowledge their attendance? That date that would give you a cut-off for when you could really get into the nitty gritty of how many sausage rolls and party pies you would need to feed everyone?
Pretty much every event I have attended in the past four years, apart from my Mother’s 50th, I have been invited to through Facebook. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Facebook makes inviting guests to a party cheap, quick and easy; the three things every modern-Australian is consistently searching for. You simply select which Facebook buddies you would like to come along, maybe add a funky little event artwork, click the ‘invite’ button and bam they’re notified. Then, in the click of a ‘can go’ or ‘can’t go’ they can let you know. But here’s where the problem lies… I’ll start with a story.
I have this friend, a lovely person, one of the kindest i’ve ever met. He invited more than 120 people to an event for his birthday, and just under one hundred had clicked ‘attending’ on the Facebook event… sounds good right? Wrong. After booking a date, paying for a venue and talking about it for weeks, when it came to the night not even 30 people managed to make it. It’s fair to say my friend was left very upset.
Here’s where the flaws lie… The thing is, Facebook also has this irritating option giving event creators and/or attendees the choice to ‘invite all friends.’ This means aspiring musicians, bands, comedy nights, fundraisers and club-night promoters flogging dead club nights that were cool in 2014, can now bombard avid Facebook users with notifications on a weekly basis. Receiving an ‘invite’ has become less exciting, less personal and often a little annoying. Hey, we’re all guilty of it, seeing that event pop up and ignoring the notification because you know you’re not interested.
But, with the constant barrage of Facebook events, I think people are forgetting the common courtesy that comes with genuinely and honestly letting someone you DO actually care about wether or not you will make their event.
Side note: Facebook gives the option for guests to say maybe. Maybe is in my opinion – the official most flakey response on the planet. Oh MAAYYYBE you’ll be able to make it? Who do you think you are? A celeb? No you are not. You can click yes, or no. You either have plans on that date, or you are free. You are NOT just going to make up your mind at the last minute if no better option comes up.
I’m voting to bring back honesty and courtesy in event attendance, and sticking to your Facebook response. Let’s give our buddies a polite amount of time to establish their numbers and not flake last minute. Whether it be for costs, catering, or just peace of mind, that friend of yours having a party in three-weeks-time needs to know for sure if you will be there (or eating chocolate on your couch while you re-watch Gossip Girl for a fifth time.)
Chivalry may be dead, but common courtesy is not.