Create. Invite. Share. Boost.
On a normal day in 2019, I’ll receive anywhere from 10-15 “Event” invitations. From Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Meetup and networking groups I belong to, I could literally fill my entire month’s calendar in the span of a week. Less, if I took into consideration all of the articles I read concerning local events and happenings, and personal invitations. There are, quite literally, not enough hours in the day. There are, though, enough so-called “events” in the day.
I do what everyone else does: A steady combination of hitting the often-used “Maybe” button, ignoring/blocking future notifications from the event, or share it to spread the word. I Still will wind up with unread ‘event invitations’ on my homepage, but I just can’t stomach the thought of adding one more commitment to my calendar when there are only so many hours in the day, so many days in a week, and so many occasions I can get excited about.
By the way: I’m (obviously) guilty of playing the Facebook Event Invite game.:
I’m sure that I’ve sent many of you a Facebook invitation, and I appreciate (so much!) those of you who have shared, ‘liked,’ marked yourselves as ‘maybe,’ or generally supported the event. But, even I know that the very act of inviting someone to something they could very well enjoy has become a passing annoyance.
The endless cycle we find ourselves in is actually a hell of our own making. I’ve been planning events for over a decade, and while Facebook events used to be something that was reserved for college parties ($10 all you can drink) and birthday celebrations, I’ve now seen companies advertise their everyday specials as Facebook events. Which begs the question: What, exactly, is an event? What makes a “happening” or a “meetup” cross over into event territory?
According to dictionary.com (which feels almost as official as a physical dictionary—but not as fun), an event is:
something that happens or is regarded as happening; an occurrence, especially one of some importance.
the outcome, issue, or result of anything (ie: The venture had no successful event).
something that occurs in a certain place during a particular interval of time.
So, if we’re to take these into some consideration, a true event needs to occur in a certain place, during a particular period of time, and should be regarded as an especially important occurrence. Are we to believe, based on the frequency at which we receive and send event invites, that something of the utmost importance, requiring tickets/a calendar invitation/ a time commitment, happens that frequently?
Of course it doesn’t. What I’m realizing, is that we as a society are bored—or think we should be, based on the social-media-fueled ‘disorder’ known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The more we use social media, the more ‘events’ there will be; so we can show up in an outfit we’ve picked out (only) for that occasion, take a few photos, create a few captions, and go home to relive it all online.
Do you think social media has changed how you view discovering and attending new events? Where do you find the most relevant events? Would love to hear your responses in the comments!