Facebook Events and Social Implications

This is a rant. You have been warned.

It is rare that I create an event on facebook. Very rare. In fact, I think the last time I created an event on facebook was in high school.

However, my office is currently in the middle of a big fundraiser. I have sat in on roundtables discussions about social networking sites,  read article after article about using social networking sites to help raise money, and listened to how social networking sites  help raise funds. “People who use their facebook status can raise 3x more money than those who don’t,” they say. “Sending facebook messages can raise 315% more money,” they argue.

So I created an event. I decided to use my own “social network” to raise awareness and funds for my organization.

So happily I wrote a description of the event, uploaded our logo, and invited over 1,000 friends….and then quickly realized the stab of betrayal I would feel every time someone responded “not attending” to my event. Within the first 5 minutes of creating this event, 3 people had already responded “not attending.” 3 people who live in Spartanburg, are friends of mine and more than likely do not have something planned on Saturday, March 5th. Shame on you.

I must admit, I too am guilty of responding “not attending” to an event that I don’t know much about. Just clearing out my notifications page, right? No big deal. WRONG. It is a HUGE deal. People spent time and effort trying to get their friends to attend, or at least to pretend to be interested in something they are putting together, and without a thought I crushed their feelings like a bug. The worst part? I had no remorse for this action at all. I have learned my lesson.

To the 3 people (including myself) attending this event: Thank you other 2 for attending. My own husband hasn’t even responded. (Though he better the second he reads this.)

To the 18 people “maybe attending”: Thank you for your support. I know that many of you don’t even live near Spartanburg, but your “maybe” response tells me: “I support you and what you’re doing, and I don’t have the heart to say no.” That is encouraging enough. 

To the 121 people “not attending”: I hope you read this. I would encourage you to learn about the at-risk children coming from low-income homes here in Spartanburg. Most of them come from single-parent homes, homes with parents who are incarcerated, and are growing up in poverty. Please know that your immediate response didn’t help them.

To the 971 of whom I am “awaiting reply,” I would encourage you to at least respond “maybe attending.” Not only will it encourage me and my co-workers, but you might actually learn something about Big Brothers Big Sisters and how the program is helping children all over the country.

The choice is in your hands.

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2 thoughts on “Facebook Events and Social Implications

  1. Get it girl! I too have spent many hours creating an event, carefully constructing emails only to get very little response. It is disheartening! I think a lot of people feel like it is someone else’s responsibility to donate, help out, get involved. I always try to throw in a little blurb addressing that! The event looks wonderful and I know you and Megan are working hard. It WILL be a success 🙂
    And…thanks for speaking out for all of us who’ve worked hard to fundraise-it can be a thankless job with a lot of being turned down/away. Just keep the mission in your heart and you can’t go wrong!

  2. Well, now I feel bad because I am “not attending.” But I am “not attending” because I will not be there. After reading more, I will evaluate the grad school budget I am operating on and see if a contribution is possible. But I will still not be attending the event.

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