When I was a child, I got invited to many birthday parties, just as many of us did. The parents of the birthday boy or girl put a phone number at the bottom of the invitation and kindly requested replies. I am not sure whether or not my parents were the parents who RSVPed in the most timely fashion, but I know for certain that I never blew off a party. I also know for certain that, at least a few days before the party and if not sooner, the host/hostess of the party knew whether or not I would be attending.
As I have gotten older, I now take care of responding to event invitations on my own. My parents no longer RSVP for me (Thank goodness.). As time has passed, virtual invitations are becoming more and more common. I receive invitations through Evite.com and through Facebook quite frequently. I understand the time and energy that it takes to plan an event so, in the interest of etiquette and courtesy, I try my very best to RSVP in as timely a manner as possible. I do not like the idea of leaving people hanging. I feel that if they took the time to invite me then I can take the time to accept or decline the kind invite.
Very recently, I planned an event through Facebook. I reserved space at a local venue and invited about 35 people. Two of those people RSVPed without any prompting. Another two RSVPed when I sent out an event reminder. The remaining 30 people disregarded the reminders and the event altogether. This has me wondering what is happening with regards to response etiquette and to acknowledging events that are planned with virtual invitations and reminders.
From my perspective, it seems as though virtual invitations are not taken seriously. Why is this? If the guests are using social media then why would an invitation sent via social media not be acknowledged? Are they not the same as a printed invitation? Are they worth less? Are the events less meaningful when the invitation is sent via email or social media? What is happening to RSVP etiquette?
What are your thoughts? How do you react (and respond) when you are invited to a small gathering through a new media platform? Are the art and the etiquette of the RSVP dying?