As if read receipts on Facebook Messenger weren't stressful enough, the social networking site is testing out a new feature that will show who has seen your Facebook event invitations. If adopted across the platform, Facebook event read receipts will make it almost impossible to get out of anything ever again by saying, "Oh, I just didn't see the event," because the person who created it will know if you're lying. While of course there are plenty of ways the feature could be useful... well, let's put it like this: It also has the potential to ruin a lot of friendships.
Here's how it works, according to the Daily Dot: Event read recipts will show up under the names of people on your guest list, whether or not they have actually responded to the invite. A little checkmark with the word "seen" next to it, much like the "seen" from Facebook Messenger, will appear once your friend has received and clicked on the event. Simple, right?
The predominant opinion the Internet holds about this "upgrade" — which, by the way, is consistent with mine — is that it's likely to cause a lot of resentment and bad feelings. What if I saw the event, but then had to leave promptly to get to work and forgot to respond? What if I saw the event and didn't know what my other commitments were for that day, so I didn't yet respond? What if I just don't want to respond to your event? These are all likely situations, and not ones that anyone should have to apologize for. At the same time, though, I do understand why someone who is going through the careful planning required to organize an event might want there to be added pressure on guests to commit either to attending or not (none of this "might attend" nonsense). So, like any other feature on social media (and in life), there are pros and cons.
So: Let's take a look at a few more of those pros and cons. How might Facebook read events be either a force for good or for evil?
1. Not Being Able to Stalk the Guest List
If you're invited to an ex's event you know you're not going to attend, but still want to snoop around and see if other people you like to hang out with are going, this feature will make it much harder to do this without revealing to your ex that you have seen everything.
What if you're the person hosting the event and a ton of people have seen it but no one has responded? That's social suicide, Cady!
3. Being Held Accountable for Something You Didn't Commit to in the First Place
You saw the event and didn't respond, so why is your friend mad that you didn't show up? You never committed to the event. Everything knows the only thing you commit to is Netflix and wine, anyway.
4. Never Being Able to Casually Peruse a Facebook Event Again
Not only are you not able to stalk your ex's event guests, but you can't just look through the event to see who's saying what and what's going on unless you plan on responding to the invite in some way. I just want to live my life in shrouded ambiguity and see what other people are doing. Is that too much to ask?
1. Event management
You'll know who's coming to your party! Which means you know how big a pitcher of mimosas to have ready — and how much you need to overshoot by so you have a ton of leftover mimosas to drink by yourself.
And that's it. That's really all it's good for. So if life-long friendships are less important than how to ration the food at your best friend's "anti-baby shower" (a thing I recently went to for a girl who threw a party to celebrate the fact that she wasn't pregnant), then that's your prerogative. I think I'll choose friends for now, thanks.