Let’s stop using ‘maybe’ because it means ‘no’

It seems that when people want to stop trolls on a website, they turn to only allowing a positive message to be shared. At first, I agreed with this somewhat, but then realized if you don’t allow the negative in, then some aspect of the positive gets co-opted to become the negative. I mean, you can’t really define the positive without the negative, so they both have to be there. But there’s one other outcome of artificially skewing the positive which is the overuse of “maybe”.
I’ve found that the US loves “maybe”. It’s not negative and it’s not positive. It’s completely noncommittal which is great for people who always want to portray an image of either being open to everything or being part of everything. Having the “maybe” allows them to do just this while fitting in a teeth whitening session around their daily activities and it allows Americans the ability to look like positive can-do people while actually being some of the flakiest people in the world.
I say end the “maybe” because really, it means “no”. Let’s face it, it’s either “yes, I can do/come to that” or everything else. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been part of some Evite or Meetup where there are a third “yes”, a third “no” and a third “maybe”. How can you plan an event other than to assume that all those “maybe” are actually “no” and if they were to show up (they never do), you just have to tell them, “Well, I didn’t know you were coming.”
I’ve actually written in to the support teams at both these groups to allow “maybe” to be taken out if you’re constructing an event. They refuse to do it which is ridiculous. I think Evite even wrote back to me along the lines of, “We appreciate your feedback, but the majority of our users prefer the ‘maybe’ option.” That’s fine. Anyone who wants to use it can, but I just want to get rid of it on what I’m doing so that planning is actually possible instead of trying to generate an illusory buzz about your event.
I have to admit that the Plague of Maybe is something which is much more predominant in the bigger cities in the US. In my hometown if someone doesn’t want to attend something, they’ll say, “No, I’m not coming. It sounds gay and I think you’re a asshole.” While blunt, I appreciate this so much more than a “maybe”. So come on, let’s stop using “maybe”.
Let's stop using 'maybe' because it means 'no'

2 Replies to “Let’s stop using ‘maybe’ because it means ‘no’”

  1. Perhaps a compromise would be to trigger some application so that 1-3 days before the event, those that indicated Maybe have to decide yes or no, or else it automatically places them in the No category.

    1. I think that there are a great many good solutions to this, but the frustrating fact is that they won’t make any changes or give any options and then you feel like a loser anyways when those 10 yeses maybe show up and none of the 30 maybes come at all.

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