How seriously do you take Facebook event invitations?

Because it sounds good, I occasionally like to warn audiences to whom I’m speaking that “email may be the fax machine of my generation”. By which I mean that, in 20 years, we’ll all be looking back and laughing at the goofy “electronic mail” with the “at sign” and “attachments”. There’s evidence that today’s teenagers use email less, or at least differently, than older age groups. They’re using instant messaging systems, texting and channels like Facebook to communicate.

Yesterday, on the aforementioned Book of Face, somebody I know wrote the following in a conversation thread:

I usually respond ‘yes’ to any event I am invited to on FB regardless if I’m actually going or not.

When I asked her why she did this, she wrote:

Well I figure people don’t really care either way. And it’s nice to say ‘yes’ always nice to be invited. So far no one has even noticed that I do this. Sometimes it’s because a ridiculous invite (environmental event in Toronto) deserves a ridiculous response. But really the bottom line is that people don’t care about FB event invites.

This raised an obvious question for me: how seriously do people take Facebook event invitations? Where do they rate compared to an email, an invite by text message or an Evite message?

I struggled to devise a poll that asked the right thing. This poll assumes that an email invitation is weightier than an Evite, and both are more serious than a text message.

I’m particularly interested in hearing from people, say, under the age of 25. How seriously do you take Facebook event invitations?


  1. I’d put an invite via text as more important than an invite via email. Lots of people have my email and can send out a group email invite; it takes more work to send out an individual SMS invite, and it means you have my cell phone number, too.


  2. I think one of the problems with taking FB invites seriously is that there seems to be a lot of “invite everyone on your contact list” abilities — or at least, so I suspect, based on the rather broad array of events I’ve been invited to via FB. I’m less likely to respond to one of those; however, for a direct invitation from a contact whom I know and featuring other contacts whom I know, I will reply accurately and update my response accordingly (i.e. I take it seriously as a gauge being used by the host as to who’s coming).

  3. There used to be four options at FB, yes, maybe, no, and remove invite. I used the last one more than any of the others which I suppose is why they deleted it.

  4. I personally think Facebook events are important. I take them seriously. How people respond to events I take seriously. If someone responds “yes” then I expect them to come. If they respond “no” then I’m glad they responded. “Maybe” is the worst…

    If I had a friend who responded “yes” to everything and then didn’t come I’d be frustrated!

    For me and my friends, almost everything is done by Facebook event or Facebook message… never email and rarely text message (and even that for only very small events).

  5. I’m a musician and many of my Facebook friends are also musicians, which means that I receive a constant flow of invites to gigs that may or may not be in the same city or country that I live in.

    I will definitely respond to something that I KNOW I’m going to, but otherwise I tend to ignore the other gig invites, because I don’t want the barrage of emails that will come along with RSVPing. And sometimes, frankly, it’s an event that I would never consider attending.

    However, if an invite comes in that’s from a close friend, like a party or clothing swap or special event, I will take it more seriously and RSVP one way or the other.

    Other than that, my ranking would be the same as Michael’s above.

    Notice that “phone” didn’t make the list? I was just having a conversation with a friend recently where we were trying to remember the last time somebody invited us to something by phone. Couldn’t come up with anything.

  6. I think it depends on who is doing the inviting and what the event is. I am friends on FB with some people who promoting a big event and do an invite to ALL of their friends. That’s quite different than a close friend of mine who’s invited a group of people over to her house for a potluck.

  7. Interesting post. I also typically respond ‘yes’ or ‘attending’ to Facebook invites. This isn’t necessarily an indicator that I will actually attend the event, but will allow me to receive sent updates to attending event members and reminders about the event. If I click ‘no’, then it just disappears off my Facebook radar.

  8. I too place more importance in a text message. I think it’s because people rarely invite me to things via text, so (much like getting something by snail mail at this point,) it’s kind of novel.

    Evite gets more importance than Facebook, only because I tend to get those only from people I know well and/or when people are particular about attendance and attendees.

    In the case of the Book of Face, I place importance depending on how many people were invited. If I am one of, say 10-40, I am more apt to respond if I don’t plan to make it, as opposed to where it’s clear that they invited everyone they knew. In that case, I feel like it’s not all that relevant to them whether or not I make it and I feel less obligated to respond.

    I also place more importance on the invitation (via email, text etc.) when it is directly addressed to me than when it’s sent in bulk, but that probably goes without saying.

  9. I think it depends on whom. Nice way to keep an address for the event, and it’s nice to be reminded if it’s something smaller.

    I don’t get too many invitations, but I’m trying to open myself to this non communication world – where I find is cold……

    Like Birthdays – Everyone just wishes you on facebook – they no longer call!!! it’s so impersonal!

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