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The Age of “Maybe”

November 16 2009 – 01:12pm

I believe we are deep in “The Age of Maybe“. Chances are, you have hundreds of Facebook friends, and thus many social engagements that you are invited to through Facebook, evite, or Meetup. With social connections so much looser than they once were, it makes RSVPing Maybe to these things very easy to do. You want to see who else will be going. You want to see if something better will be going on that day. You probably won’t admit that these are the reasons why, but at any rate, you RSVP Maybe.

At least you have the guts to RSVP as such, rather than just flaking. In my experience, events I’ve attended or held usually have at least a 25% flake factor. If 30 people have RSVPed “Yes” (in which case, probably 15 have RSVPed “Maybe” ) then approximately 7.5 of them won’t show up. So, you’ll have 7.5 people’s worth of leftover chips and dips.

Maybe really has its virtues. Maybe allows us to find just what we want in life. We can Maybe our way through our days, making contact with thousands of people, hundreds of career opportunities, dozens of parties, a handful of lovers. Maybe is a date. Yes is a marriage. Maybes makes stronger Yeses.

Maybe I shouldnt have skipped so much class in college

Maybes have been made more abundant by the internet. We don’t have to restrict our friends to those who live on our block, go to our same school, who work with us, or attend the same church (if we go). We can seek out others with similar interests and lifestyles with unprecedented efficiency. I think that this is good.

Eventually, you’ve Maybed enough. If you’re a chronic Mayber, people will start to catch on. You cancel dinner with your friend because you have to work late. You miss someone’s birthday party because it’s raining, and you don’t want to go outside. Maybe will poison your relationships. Try denying yourself Maybe for just a little bit. Commit to that party, even though it’s three weeks away. Keep that drink appointment with a friend, even though you’re tired and have to get up early tomorrow. If you’ve Maybed your way long enough to fill your life with good things, you’ll find that Yes makes those bonds stronger.

I have a “no Maybes” brunch group. There’s a set number of people who can be in the group at any time. We have a special guest every meeting. There are other people who are interested in attending, so if you aren’t showing up, we’ll give your spot to one of them. You’re out. No can build as strong of bonds as Yes.

Just say No to Maybe.

Woman photo by mkorchia. Dog photo by mudpig.

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