I don’t think I’ve received a party invitation in the mail in years. But eVite and Facebook and old-fashioned email are fine with me. In a house full of glittery artwork, shopping lists and school calendars, the details of a six-year-old’s birthday party a month from now are bound to go missing unless I can do a quick search on my laptop.
On the sender’s end, though, electronic invites can pose a few problems. They’re not discreet like paper invites. The guest list (and who is not on it) is obvious. And? Party details can be easily shared.
Which is why 1,500 people showed up to this girl’s birthday party.
Thessa, a 16-year-old girl in Germany, wanted to invite a few friends over to celebrate her birthday. So she sent out an invitation on Facebook. Problem was, she didn’t check the box marking the invitation as private.
The result? 1,500 people (not counting the 100 police officers) showed up for her sweet 16.
The sad part was Thessa wasn’t even there. When more than 15,000 people confirmed that they would be at the party, she canceled with her friends and went into hiding. Her parents notified ahead of time and hired private security to guard their house. The local TV network ran announcements saying the party would not take place (as if that’s not an invitation in and of itself!). On the night of the party, teens from all over descended at the appointed hour. They brought “Where is Thessa” and “Birthdays Aren’t a Crime” signs, and also presents and many homemade cakes.
Police arrested about a dozen revelers. There was plenty of drinking and some vandalism. As for Thessa? She celebrated with her grandparents, away from Hamburg. Too bad, too. Police spokesman Mirko Streiber said even without the birthday girl, the party was kind of a hit.
If it’s easiest to invite your son’s preschool class via Facebook, Achtung! Don’t forget to check “private” before hitting send.
Other party tips: evacuate bounce-house if winds start kicking up.
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