YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: I am not sure but there seems to be a big gap in communication techniques with this generation of young people. Recently, my husband and I were hosts for an engagement party for our daughter and her husband-to-be. The party was in our home, and we needed a number for the caterer. I used my landline telephone for responses, which led to confusion because several of the young invited guests told my daughter that they had tried to text me but it did not go through. Many of the boys did not respond at all (I asked for regrets only). It was infuriating to me that these people did not pick up the phone, call me, leave a message or just let me know if they were coming or not. It would not have taken more than a couple of minutes of their precious time.
CALLIE'S ANSWER: This isn't just the "young people generation." Technology has shaped our culture as a whole. Texting and emails have become more convenient for EVERYONE. If you do not text or email, you need to get with it!
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: It is normal these days for people, especially younger ones, to assume that a phone number is a mobile one and that they can text it. That is an essential means of communication for many different ages, and it is an easy way to reply. However, that doesn't excuse them for not picking up the phone to call you when their texts didn't go through. They should have made the effort and were rude not to do so.
But as complaints about people who don't RSVP continue to escalate, providing an email address and a mobile phone number on the invitation for texting might guarantee more replies than just the ones who are willing to use a landline. You are right to be upset with their lack of courtesy; how frustrating to plan a lovely party and have would-be guests not take the time to realize the effort, planning and expense involved. But, also, next time, you can choose a different way to let them communicate, such as email or text in addition to a landline, or specify on the invitation that the RSVP number is for calls only.
Or you can try to keep up the fight and assert that phones are still used for calling people.
HELEN ANSWER: Whatever method of communication that you, as the hostess, gave is the one the invitees should answer. You are doing the inviting, the paying for their dinner and drinks and the hosting of the party at your house. Young people should disregard their texting and emails this time and do what is expected by the host.