An Open Letter to the Person Who Keeps Inviting Me to Society Events

Pema I’Anson voices her appreciation.

Listen. I really appreciate that you thought of me. I really appreciate that you made an event, or were invited to one, or are part of a society that is holding one, and that when you thought “who would be interested in this?” you thought of me. I am glad that I feature enough in your consciousness that you are aware of what I’m interested in, or what I might like, or what I could be persuaded to attend if there’s free food. These are all very touching. But the problem is, every single bloody day, I open up Facebook and am invited to yet another inane event, if not two or three or four thousand.

And okay, maybe generalising all events as “inane” is unfair. And okay, maybe you did really think of me specifically. Yet somehow it seems to me that since we’re not actually all that close – we’ve never really talked in person, and you’re just someone I friended on Facebook during Freshers’ Week – I doubt that you’re inviting me to these events because you genuinely think I would enjoy them. It seems, rather, that you’re perhaps doing more of a mass-invite-type thing, and that’s not really cool.

Yeah, you want loads of people to come to this talk your society is organising. But I’m not actually very interested in getting work in the engineering industry, or whatever it is, and if you actually took the time to think about who you’re inviting, the fact that I only take History and Anthropology modules might tip you off to that. Or the fact that I am only really friends with other Arts students, or perhaps that I haven’t got a clue where the Maths building is. You know, any of the various aspects of who I am which might let you know that I’m not interested.

If you’re my friend, I’ll accept hundreds of Facebook invitations without a complaint, and I might even click “interested” to support you without any intention of attending. Because I know you, and you know me, and you know what I’m actually interested in and will invite me to things I care about, or things you want me to help you with. But if you’re not somebody I particularly care about, and you keep on doing it, it’s just going to get on my nerves. And then I’ll use this media outlet I’ve been irresponsibly trusted with to write a rant about you and get it published and then maybe you’ll see it and feel bad.

Actually, scratch that. I don’t want you to feel bad. I’m not here to outright attack you. This is merely more of a request to please, please cool it on the invitations unless you know me. I’ll freely admit that I, too, can be annoying with invitations to events I’m helping to organise. But I’ll also admit that I am very careful with who I invite; I will invite people I’ve spoken to, people I think might be interested. Not every single person on my friends list. So if you want to keep inviting me to things, you’re very welcome to come and chat with me and try to be my friend, but don’t endlessly bother me without assigning a shred of interest in who I am and what my actual interests are.

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165 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Person Who Keeps Inviting Me to Society Events

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