the fickleness of Facebook events

Upon my arrival to college, I was struck by a new phenomenon, or rather a resurrected one: Facebook events.

When the invites first arrived, I felt extremely honored when a friend I only vaguely knew invited me to their organization’s mixer, fundraiser, or informational session. Surely this signified that they were interested in getting to know me on a deeper and more personal level!

Then, I realized that I had been invited along with 600 of their other vague friends, and surely they couldn’t be interested in getting to know 600 other people on a deeper and more personal level. There was nothing special about me. At all.

But even more than the striking impersonal nature of these pre-scheduled events were the options that now sat on the screen in front of me.

Going.

Maybe.

Can’t go.

But don’t you see? These options are inconclusive! “Going” implies confidence and preparation. You click it and you declare: YES! I WILL SURELY BE THERE. I KNOW MY SCHEDULE AHEAD OF TIME AND NOTHING WILL CONFLICT.

I am guilty of clicking this button and never showing up. I feel terrible, guilty even. Am I then obligated to switch my status to the dreaded “can’t go” also translated as “I don’t give a care about this event or possibly even the people who are hosting it????”

But then there’s the dangerous “maybe.” People sit in limbo. They are non-committal, frightened of the binding contract of the “going” and wary of the anti-social implications of “can’t go.” Because maybe they could go, but they’re just choosing not to. And you can’t lie to things like these.

They haunt you. If you never change your status on the event, it posts in your “about” section. Everyone sees that I went to this ice cream social, when in fact I didn’t! I was napping.

It’s awkward. It’s peer pressure when you see your friends all lined up underneath the RSVP section. They’re going. They have little check marks under their profile pic. They have it all together.

What’s wrong with me that I ‘m not going? Well, I better just go ahead and click “going” to be safe.

But wait, no! If I don’t go, I look like a flake.

Summary: Facebook events are terrible, I hate them, I want them to go away, and I have reminders for two of them right now in my notifications.

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