Group messaging: Editor has love-hate relationship

Group messaging: Editor has love-hate relationship

Often in life we are faced with having to work in and with groups of people, and the more people there are, the more difficult it can be to get everyone together and make sure that all information gets evenly distributed between every member.
Today we have technology that can help keep the group together, like Google Docs, conference calls on Skype and group messages.
Group messages are a wonderful thing when attempting to coordinate a meeting or work with group of people when not everyone can meet.
It helps when you don’t have to have individual texts for each member of the group; everyone can see everything that is said so that no one misses any information that they might find necessary.
They are also nice when the group uses an app like GroupMe and then only one person in the group has to take down everyone’s numbers and the app inputs the contact information so that you’re not sitting there trying to figure out which number belongs to whom based on the area code or what they are saying.
But, like most other things in life, group messages have a lot of negatives. And in the case of group messages, these negatives can sometimes so heavily overpower the positives that the positives become negatives as well.
Because a group message has at least three people included in it, there are always multiple responses to one question. This gets especially annoying when there are 10 people in the group and everyone feels the need to say “OK” and your phone gets blown up.
It also doesn’t help when a couple people end up having a conversation in the group message that applies to no one else and it’s a never-ending conversation that you don’t care about.
I’ve even experienced when people text in the group message when it’s a conversation that not everyone in the group needs to be a part of. Like cool, I’m glad you just made plans to hang out; maybe I should just show up, too, since you made those plans in the group message.
And I’ve heard horror stories of teams with 30-plus people on them where almost every person responds to a message like “so don’t forget we have practice tomorrow at this place and this time.” I can’t imagine looking at your phone to see that you missed 20 messages in the group. I would probably even go back through to see if any of them were important and then end up just getting mad at everyone for all of the one word answers.
I have a group message with some of my friends that got so ridiculous when I was trying to do homework one day that I got mad and muted the conversation. I had forgotten to unmute it, though, and ended missing out on plans; it kind of backfired on me.
But still, group messages should all come with a set of rules to keep the extraneous messages out.
SARAH BARTKOWIAK
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