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Times are a changing and I'm feeling old.

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Matney
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Times are a changing and I'm feeling old.

Postby Matney » Wed, 06 May 2009 2:08 am

I was invited to a baby shower for a friend by text message. I didn't know the person who sent the message and she didn't give her name. I confirmed with the mother-to-be who was surprised I didn't know this person. I texted back to the host, saying I would make an appearance, but that I had birthday party to attend the same evening.

I was approached by another attendee about putting in some money towards a present. Great! It means I don't have to go shopping as I work full time.

I arrive at the time that was given in the text along with another lady who I knew. Nobody else arrives for at least 20 minutes and others arrive every 10 minutes or so. Near 9, 2 hours after I have arrived, they pass out champagne for a toast to the guest, but no mention of gift. I left at 10 as I'm already late for my other party.

Two days later, I receive a text saying thanks for coming, nice to see you and thanks for the gift from the guest. Now I didn't want to be rude, but I felt like texting back and asking what the gift was.

My point, and I'm showing my age on this, but what happened to written invites, written thank you notes and opening presents so everyone can see what the guest has received? Is this how the new generation does everything these days? I would have been fine if there had been an actual phone call, but texting??!!

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Postby durain » Wed, 06 May 2009 6:08 am

i guessed it is moving on with the times with new technology! a while ago i had a look at "children playground" website and there was a link to facebook to sign up to it! and parents are signing up their kids to it!

soon a baby birth cert will have it's own mobile phone number, a website, blog, etc!

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road.not.taken
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Re: Times are a changing and I'm feeling old.

Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 06 May 2009 6:28 am

Matney wrote:I was invited to a baby shower for a friend by text message. I didn't know the person who sent the message and she didn't give her name. I confirmed with the mother-to-be who was surprised I didn't know this person. I texted back to the host, saying I would make an appearance, but that I had birthday party to attend the same evening.

I was approached by another attendee about putting in some money towards a present. Great! It means I don't have to go shopping as I work full time.

I arrive at the time that was given in the text along with another lady who I knew. Nobody else arrives for at least 20 minutes and others arrive every 10 minutes or so. Near 9, 2 hours after I have arrived, they pass out champagne for a toast to the guest, but no mention of gift. I left at 10 as I'm already late for my other party.

Two days later, I receive a text saying thanks for coming, nice to see you and thanks for the gift from the guest. Now I didn't want to be rude, but I felt like texting back and asking what the gift was.

My point, and I'm showing my age on this, but what happened to written invites, written thank you notes and opening presents so everyone can see what the guest has received? Is this how the new generation does everything these days? I would have been fine if there had been an actual phone call, but texting??!!


I agree with you Matney. There is a time for texting, but to invite a stranger to a social engagement? That's not it. :-|

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Postby pakjohn » Wed, 06 May 2009 7:04 am

Times are changing, technology is shaping social networking in ways a lot of people don't understand. Look for some interesting patterns to emerge on Facebook in the next few months.

It may not be acceptable in your generation; but it's clearly acceptable to this person and probably their peers. You don't have to accept or adopt these practices, just note the patterns so emerging social norms don't pass you by.
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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 06 May 2009 7:45 am

Matney, even if you are a bit old-fashioned, that doesn't explain why basic manners have to fly out the window all in the name of technology. There is a way to use technology and maintain civility, the IT age is not a blanket excuse for sloppy manners. There are two issues here, the invitation and the behavior of the guests and host. Related, but different. Ask yourself:

Did the invitation positively set the tone for the event? Was it a reflection of the occasion? Did it help you understand the dress code? The level of formality? Did it make you feel you would be warmly welcomed?

It doesn't matter how it is delivered, if it didn't accomplish these objectives, then it fell short.

You are so funny -- you didn't want to be rude? You arrived on time, gift in hand, smile on your face and you were afraid you were being rude? No dear, you were fine. You can chalk up the bad manners to generational differences or the computer age or anything you want -- if the event left you feeling this way, then they don't know how throw a party. Simple as that.

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Postby Zeenit » Wed, 06 May 2009 7:02 pm

My pennies worth, if this generation like to do things the new way. Then maybe sending them a virtual gift and see if thats a modern thing and not an old fashion way.

Maybe they will see that the old fashion way they get to benefit from it.
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Postby Matney » Wed, 06 May 2009 7:40 pm

Thanks for making me feel that my way of thinking hasn't been totally forgotten. I text. I'm on Facebook and use Skype, so I don't feel totally alien to technology. But as RNT stated, there is a time and a place. I think is sad that the letter/invitation writing generation is disappearing.

I'll admit, I did feel out of place. I only knew 4 people and nobody seemed to make the effort to talk with me, nor did I seek them out. I guess you could say we're from different social circles. Our husbands all work for the same company. I was the only lady in attendance who works full time, so I don't have time in the day to visit the spa, drink coffee, go out for lunch, visit the gym or gossip.

Believe when I say, I'm not losing any sleep over this!

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Postby Thaiclan » Thu, 07 May 2009 4:24 pm

If the event had been more "old fashioned" then you wouldn't have had the opportunity to attend in the first place as a baby shower would not be "the place" to invite unknown guests.
Don't forget the good that goes with the new social revolution. Its a much looser community, you won't be impeached if you actually don't make it after you have already RSVP'd. It is okay to group together and leave the present buying to someone else. Its okay to bring along an uninvited guest. etc etc
If you are the host/ess you don't have to agonise for hours over the appropriate guest list, invites, and subsequent thank you notes.
IMO social gatherings should reflect how we are really in the everyday world, not having to put on airs and graces (not to mention the hypocrisy) with dress codes and expectations.
If social gatherings are much easier then we host and attend more of them which ultimately is better situation than avoiding or stressing out about an event because you are unsure of the protocol. Just be yourself.
The OP mentioned her busy working life, in which case the new rules of social gathering (invites by sms or facebook) should suit you even more.
That said it doesnt stop YOU from putting on an event in the "old fashioned" way. maybe some of your guests would enjoy it and learn how you like things to be done also.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 May 2009 5:44 pm

I'm wholly with Matney on this one. This has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with rudeness and bad manners.

The other guests were rude... you show up on time... or close to it... and if your Momma didn't teach you that... you need to learn.

An event requires more than a text message... maybe an email... but really, this is supposedly something significant... how about treating it that way? How would you, as the recipient of the event, feel if the most effort that was made was a text message.

Sounds like people have no idea how to entertain, either. Rude to not offer drinks, food.

The young, 21 year old daughter of a dear friend of mine got married in the US. We got a real invite in Singapore. We could not attend but did send a gift. We got a very nice handwritten note thanking us for the gift and sending regrets that we could not be there.

So, no... good manners are not dead... they are just missing in action. Social etiquette is the grease that helps us all get along better... and to blame a social faux pau on technology is just an attempt to transfer the blame.

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Postby QRM » Thu, 07 May 2009 6:04 pm

What did people do before the postal service?

In those days if a postman delivers an invitation letter , old folks of the time will say its a sign of bad manners, should have sent the household messenger boy and accompanying trumpet player.

While I agree its is bad manners but we have to move on. Who knows in a few years baby showers will be carried out via a video conference?

The lack of formality is one of Singapore quaint charms

Arriving late: that's another strange unwritten rule around here the more important you are (or at least think you are) the longer you leave the other person waiting. :shock:

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 May 2009 6:33 pm

QRM wrote:What did people do before the postal service?

In those days if a postman delivers an invitation letter , old folks of the time will say its a sign of bad manners, should have sent the household messenger boy and accompanying trumpet player.

While I agree its is bad manners but we have to move on. Who knows in a few years baby showers will be carried out via a video conference?

The lack of formality is one of Singapore quaint charms

Arriving late: that's another strange unwritten rule around here the more important you are (or at least think you are) the longer you leave the other person waiting. :shock:


Sorry... it's all bullsh*t to abdicate social responsibility. The key is not technology, it is manners, and from Matney's description, no manners were exercised in any way. Rude from the invite to the conclusion... the people who came to honor the recipient of the baby shower were not in themselves honored.

Lack of formality is OK... too damn lazy to actually plan, create, and execute an honoring event is just damn laziness and 'I don't actually give a sh*t'.

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Postby road.not.taken » Thu, 07 May 2009 6:59 pm

QRM wrote:While I agree its is bad manners but we have to move on.


See the thing is: No We Don't.

I'm so tired of everything getting explained away by the actions of the lowest-common denominator. Nobody expects anything of anyone anymore. We're just all quietly disappointed. I'm not ready to throw in my (old) towel yet.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 07 May 2009 7:11 pm

road.not.taken wrote:I'm so tired of everything getting explained away by the actions of the lowest-common denominator. Nobody expects anything of anyone anymore. We're just all quietly disappointed. I'm not ready to throw in my (old) towel yet.


Holy moly... are we actually agreeing on something? :o 8-)

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Postby cbavasi » Thu, 07 May 2009 7:17 pm

I was going to keep quiet on this one but one glass of chardonnay and here we go (kidding :)) ... there are a couple of responses that triggered a knee-jerk reaction... I love the "virtual present" response... thought that was quite clever.
I'm really from the old school of hand written thank you notes. I think they are often forgotten and it only takes a line or two - but it's really the thought. When I get a typed letter from my nieces/nephews it always makes me wonder - but then again, it's nice to get a note in the mail from them. When I see computer generated labels on Christmas cards - again I sort of grimace but think it's nice that the card arrived. I still write out addresses (tho we don't have hundreds & my handwriting is pretty appalling), I still send out thank you notes... and tho I send out emails with save the dates - I do still send out an invitation b/c I enjoy making them, and receiving them.
In re: to being at a function where (quote "I was the only lady in attendance who works full time, so I don't have time in the day to visit the spa, drink coffee, go out for lunch, visit the gym or gossip")... it's a shame there wasn't someone to chat with. I've given up working and subsequently coffee, work out, lunch... etc. but would like to think I'm approachable and would seek out someone who is not like me! You were a real trouper for going - staying so long and simply ranting on a forum.
Lastly - in re: to RSVPing... this is my BIGGEST pet peeve of all time. I'm sure I need to relax on this... but I think if the host(ess) goes to an effort - then please show up if you say you are (barring unforeseen circumstances)... it sucks to be the person planning the event and people flake out.

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Postby QRM » Thu, 07 May 2009 9:05 pm

cbavasi wrote:.... When I get a typed letter from my nieces/nephews it always makes me wonder - but then again, it's nice to get a note in the mail from them..


I remember years ago a cousin of mine, a real geek, would send out a news letter to all his relatives it contained his latest family news, a few photos, what he read that week etc. I thought it was quite creative at the time, just at the start of DTP software and home printers.

My elderly Aunt was very upset by it saying he was so rude, the newsletter show he is to lazy to even bother writing a proper letter and she rather not receive it. Interesting his news letters in many ways was the genesis of Facebook, twitter, blogs

Time to move on folks its oredi here in short form writing, the police in the UK are experimenting with signs in SMS short hand so the yutes can relate to it. Without realizing it, a lot of virtual manners are already second nature, IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN HOW RUDE IS THIS?


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