Imagine a gangster movie from the '80s and IKEA had a baby. With or without a gender-reveal party, the baby would be named Group Chat, ‘coz there’s no way out.
At first, all these group chats seem like a good idea. Whether with my co-workers, book-club members, or with the strangers waiting in line outside the grocery store. You know, as a not-so-frequent yet easier-than-emailing way of staying in touch. But as soon as I step away from my phone for two minutes, I come back to 8,700 unread messages. There’s no way I can keep up with it. If I scroll all the way back up to the first unread message and reply, I’ll come off as too needy. No one likes needy people. If I don’t reply, I know, everyone will judge me silently. It’s game over.
I don’t know why we, as a society, can’t stop correcting our auto-corrects. They make up 90% of massages on these group chats. We all know that no one means to type “duck.” That’s lame. But I can’t be the first one in the conversation to stop correcting my auto-corrects because I don’t want to come off as the only one who doesn’t do that. I’m not trying to start a revolution here.
On top of everything, my ex keeps adding me to these group chats. It seems rude to leave. A couple of them are in different languages. That’s why I’m now learning Spanish and starting Mandarin next month. I suppose I am a complacer a la gente, aka people pleaser.
Last week, my therapist showed me one of those inked butterflies and asked me what I saw…. Sorry, what was I talking about? I got distracted receiving and deleting messages without reading them in this group chat.
I even called 911 and told them the nature of my emergency. They asked me to wait in a group chat of victims of group chats.
Of course, I have FOMO. I even check my spam folders for any important emails every once in a while. I can’t just leave any group chat on my own. I know the moment I leave, just to show me up, someone in the group will start distributing free electric cars or Popeye's chicken sandwiches.
One time, I was all determined to leave this group chat of “friends” I’ve never met in person ever, and I sent them a farewell message. You know, “I hope you understand,” that kind of message. As soon as I hit send, Kim made me the group admin and left the group chat. Now it’s like being at the worst party in the world and I can’t leave because all of a sudden it’s at my house. I also have this newfound respect for Kim.
Immigration, poverty, racism, environmental disaster, unemployment, and everything else can wait; can someone help me first get out of these group chats?