ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

The social dangers of creating a Facebook event

Seriously, you're better off not having it

The social dangers of creating a Facebook event
04 November 2016

Social circles existed before Facebook. You've got to remind yourself that sometimes. There was a time when house parties and birthday drinks were organised by that now mysterious alchemy of word of mouth, text messages and asking people in person.

But those days are gone, languishing in the past alongside VHS cassettes and SMTV Live. Now if you want to organise a gathering of five or more people, the easiest option is via a Facebook Event. The pay off for this bland digital utility? A path fraught with social hang-ups. 

These are the dangers of allowing Facebook events to organise your social life.

Giving others an opportunity to brag about their superior plans and make your event look increasingly uncool

"Sorry, mate. I'm in Berlin for the week"

"Sounds great - but I'll be headed to this awards bash at the Royal Albert Hall, hope it's fun"

"I'll be sunning it up in Croatia, soz"

"Going to this gig, on the guest list, couldn't say no"

Fine guys. It's fine. You could have just clicked 'Not attending' or said "Sorry, I'm busy that night", or emailed said host directly, but no. You had to highlight the mediocrity of the event and make everyone not going to Mexico feel rubbish. 

Pissing off that one guy who doesn't use Facebook

You know the one. Kevin. Only wears Japanese trainers. Spends more money on haircuts than food. Queued for the Kenzo x H&M collection opening for three hours to buy a leopard print jacket. He came off Facebook in 2013, claiming it was "just ruining his social life", but you know full well it was because he lacked all self control in looking at holiday pictures of his ex. 

When Kevin gets wind that he's been invited to the party after everyone has seen it on Facebook, he'll take issue with it. In his eyes, it reinforces his decision to leave the network. You've just galvanised his principles. You'll not be seeing Kevin until you bump into him at some drinks that your mate organised via text message. 

Forgetting that one mate and initiating a social standoff

The process of making a Facebook Event has one glaring flaw; when scrolling through a couple of hundred friends, it's far, far too easy to forget to tick the face of a good pal, thus leaving them off the invite list.

A few days will pass, friends will communicate the event to each other ("Are you going? Good, if you're going I'll go") and then, disastrously, that one forgotten friend will discover they didn't make the cut. They'll feel estranged, abandoned, isolated, publicly shunned.

"Mate, did you forget to ask Chris?" a mutual friend will ask. "Yeah, obviously... did he not get an invite?" "No... he thinks you've got an issue with him now, you know what he's like." 

An invite is hurriedly sent to Chris, but the damage is done. He didn't make the original cut. You've lost his trust, putting your relationship back years.

Gaining a stark insight into who your true friends are

Don't kid yourself, you haven't really got 489 friends. Not really.

It's made abundantly obvious when ramming your social event into the inboxes of those people you'd consider a mate (someone you'd readily walk over to if you see them across a bar); many of those social bonds you'd thought strong suddenly become suspect. 

Jane has seen your event. SEEN it. But does she reply? Does she heck. She's staying home to watch Westworld and swipe through Tinder - both preferable to engaging in social activities with you.

Handing your social life over to the Facebook algorithm and looking overly keen

Once you make an event on Facebook, it's no longer your event - it's Facebook's event. 

That Facebook algorithm is going to pump your event into the feeds of your guests with the zeal of an email spammer. 

"Reply to David's event invite!"

"Let David know if you can make it to his event!"

"Rowan is attending David's event!" 

"Five days to go until David's event!"

Cheers, Facebook. Way to play it cool. 

Seeing your event inevitably clash with three other events

This isn't new - social events have always fallen on the same night of the year since humans stumbled out of caves, got bored and headed off to their mate's cave. But as soon as social events went digital, an element of unintentional competition was invited to the party. 

When people recorded events in their own physical diaries, their decision on which party they'd head to was a private decision you weren't privy to. Now, when Emily is invited to your event, Gavin's leaving drinks and Phil's pizza night, you'll now be abundantly aware of which event she'll give the nod.

Obviously the pizza night. 

Reopening scars between old couples

Jenny and Ben broke up about a year ago, a split that resulted in an uneasy social division throughout your friendship group. Some 'sided' with Jenny (Ben wasn't paying her enough attention) while others gravitated to Ben (Jenny is somewhat toxic when she doesn't get her own way). 

But you want to unite this tedious division. You're sick of having to make the call of inviting one group or the other, to play out a pseudo Shakespearean drama every time you want to get both of them in the same room.

Bad idea though. It'll culminate in an icy evening, with one half of the couple inevitably breaking down when they see the ex flirting with someone else. There are tears, a drink is thrown, the night is ruined. Good try though.

Who the hell says "Maybe"?

"Maybe"? How can you "Maybe" go to an event? It's not like Schrodinger's cat - you can't both be at the event and not at the event at the same time. This isn't a quantum party - it's a few drinks at your local and then a club. 

Sure, three weeks before the event there's a chance your plans haven't solidified. You could book an early train home for the weekend, but you need to hear back from the parents to find out if they'll be going for a curry or not - so you put maybe until you know for sure. But come on - when you know, you know. Are you trying to tease the party? "Is Dave coming?" "Don't know, he said 'Maybe'." "Classic Dave - man of mystery."

You're not a man of mystery, Dave. Your a first rate pillock. 

(Images: Shutterstock)