There was an editorial in the New York Times yesterday on etiquette written by Rand Richards Cooper. The editorial's title was It's My Party, and You Have to Answer. Etiquette is one of my pet peeves when people don't have any. Obviously I am not the only one.
Cooper sent out an evite to a party and two weeks later was still politely reminding people to RSVP. His frustration led him to start asking other people if they had the same results when throwing a party. Do people not RSVP?
His question, as is mine, is what is preventing people from executing on a simple social task? Why can't people commit? Is it being rude or is it people are too busy or is it that people don't want to commit until the last minute? Certainly the person on the receiving end feels like they are not only getting dissed but it is extremely hard to plan an event, food and drink wise, when only 50% of the invitees RSVP and 100% show up.
I sit on the advisory board of Red Stamp which is an online site all about modern correspondence. They are bridging the gap between social correspondence through social networking, good old fashioned snail mail invitations and the happy medium between old fashioned snail mail for those who are running late that want to print their own stuff at home. They are trying to figure out the new world of correspondence. Their findings continue to be interesting.
Does anybody write a personalized thank you note anymore or just shoot someone an email? When should you actually write a note and not shoot an email? Do wedding invitations still have to come through the post office? How about baby showers? How should you correspond with people when someone has passed away, from both sides – the family left behind and the people who want to acknowledge the dead? How about just throwing a cocktail party? Do people react (rsvp) at a higher rate to formalized invitations that come the old fashioned way vs the ones that come through email?
Red Stamp has an area on their site that shows what Daily Correspondence looks like in a Modern World…and how you should you use it. Stylish Correspondence.
The greeting card/invitation world is a multi-billion dollar business. What do you think the world of correspondence is going to look like in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
My favorite part of yesterdays editorial was the last paragraph. He espouses that friends who don't RSVP are dissing him. I couldn't agree more. He concludes that RSVP which means please respond in French really means Respond, Quickly or Die!