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Has Social Media Killed the RSVP?

What got me thinking today, however, was the RSVP return. Before the party, only 8 people had RSVPed and yet, more than 40 people were in attendance.

A similar situation occurred several month ago when I shared invitations to my daughter’s birthday party. We had invited 12 kids and only 3 RSVP’s arrived in advance of the party. As a mom, I was worried that my daughter’s birthday party might not be well attended; however, once the party got underway, over 16 girls arrived to our doorstep.

One of the comments I heard last night during my friend’s party was “did you have this event on Facebook?” And it caused me to wonder if our reliance on social media to remind of us birthdays and events has impacted our ability to respond to party invitations?

I’m not sure if there is any correlation at all between my unscientific observations and our cultural inability to respond to invitations, but it did make me cognizant of all of my pending invitations today. It’s important to remember that people ask for an RSVP so that they can adequately plan to have the right amount of food & supplies on-hand for their various events.

Fortunately, for last night, I figured the headcount would be significantly larger than 8 people, but for events like weddings, it’s important to remember that brides & grooms often have to provide detailed headcounts as their reception dinners can be fairly expensive.

It’s a simple step to RSVP when we are invited to someone’s party. Consider taking the step and replying to each and every one of them to offer a moment of courtesy to those who have graciously invited you to share your presence with them.


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Stephen Peteritas

As much as it could be blamed on social media I actually just think it’s more of a culture shift. You could blame it on text/smartphones or something else techy but it’s more just the fact that people are go go go and more self centric these days.

Margaret Sarro

Ohhh I am so with you! I am honestly tired of throwing events because I can never figure out who is coming and who is not. I have the same non-RSVP turn out if I use “social media” tools like Evite and if I send out paper invites. Honestly it seems WORSE with paper invites. Part of me wants to tell people not to bother showing up if they don’t RSVP, but then again I like my friends and really do want to see them. I don’t think this is happening because of social media though, I think it is a combo of people being busy and forgetting that there are other people (besides themselves!) in this world. As to a cure, I see none except to teach my children to always RSVP (AND send Thank you notes AND bring little thank you gifts to the hosts). Maybe we’ll start a trend and someday people will start RSVPing again.

Carol Davison

People stopped responding to invites long before social media. They don’t even RSVP for weddings, which are very expensive. I’m surprised that they just show up. How do the host know how much food to prepare?

tracie sanchez

we need emily post! and my 88 year-old grandmother who still takes care of her correspondence first thing every morning before she dresses for the day. kids today…argh!

R. Anne Hull

This keeps Ask Amy and others in biz – did parents forget to teach or have we just blown off the courtesies? In either case, the reality is, if you need a head count you have to take the lead to confirm. And its still the time-consuming individual conversation that gets the best result.