Sometime in our 20s, we stopped using Facebook to plan events and started switching to group emails. This was great and felt very mature. But sometimes group emails are a great tool and sometimes they are a huge annoyance (or they are great comedy fodder- if you have not yet read Hey Ladies– check it out!). If you really need to plan something with input from everyone, you have no choice but to cc everyone and possibly have a long, unwieldy thread. But if everyone follows a few simple rules, it can stay pretty manageable:
- Stick to the topic at hand. If you are trying to arrange an apple picking trip, don’t bring up your next hiking trip.
- Make sure you actually answer the question. If an event is being planned, say yes or no before you start posting wacky gifs and jokes.
- If you volunteer to do something, make sure you do it.
- If you agree to show up to something, make sure you show up.
- If someone asks to be removed from a thread because they aren’t interested in the topic or can’t make it, oblige.
- Make sure you hit “reply all” so everyone sees your input (unless you really only want to address one person, like the email originator, to make a specific remark.)
- If you want to talk behind someone’s back to a specific person, make sure you DON’T hit reply all.
- You don’t have to participate, but don’t get mad about decisions that are made when you haven’t given any input.
Of course, if the organizer only wants input from individuals without any discussion, they are absolutely free to use a BCC so no one can see who else got the email. Personally this is not my preference as I think it is nice to be able to see who else is invited to an event or party, that way a person can choose in advance if they want to avoid drama with another guest by not attending and also avoids the awkwardness of “sooooo, did so-and-so invite you to their party?” where you want to find out if someone is going to something but don’t want to hurt their feelings if they weren’t invited.
Share with me your greatest group email stories!!
I’ve recently re-joined an old circle of friends after moving back to my hometown, and I have been SO IMPRESSED with how well they use group emails to plan things. Like, super-consistently, even when there’s a choice of dates to be made or something — if we don’t reach a consensus within, like, a week, the host/planner will just PICK ONE. It’s amazing. I have a tentative theory that it’s because many of our host/planner types in this group are men, and thus don’t have as much “But I have to please EVERYONE!” socialization built up as women tend to, but who knows.