Let’s call it the aspirational R.S.V.P. — when someone replies yes to an invitation, even though he knows, or is fairly certain, that he can’t or won’t attend.
“Aspirational R.S.V.P.s have become rampant, thanks to Facebook,” said the painter and translator Daisy Rockwell. “Very often when I post an event there, people will choose ‘Join’ simply as a show of solidarity. If you ask them if they really plan to come to your Massachusetts event all the way from California, they are affronted, as though you are criticizing their noble sentiment.”
…Tanael Joachim, a stand-up comic who produces a monthly comedy show on the Lower East Side, said that typically three-fourths of his Facebook reservations are no-shows. “By a huge majority it’s a young-people problem,” he said. “There’s no real commitment with social media. If you don’t have to face people and see that they’re displeased, you create a culture where it’s very easy to be flaky.”