Group texting is THE WORST.
Why, you ask?
Because people have no idea how to properly use it.
Group texting, while not inherently evil, is a tool. But it's not like a screwdriver or a crowbar. It's more like a jackhammer. After all, when my phone is on vibrate, they make the same exact sound.
I can't take it any more, my Gentle Reader. I can't take the random texts at 1 AM from unknown numbers responding to a text I received yesterday. No more! The line must be drawn here, no further!
And this week, I'm not going to go into a personal story about how I learned a life lesson. This week, I'm just getting to the point.
Rules for Group Texting, Or How to Not Annoy Everyone You Know
Group texting is okay if:
- you are initiating a conversation within a small group of people who all have smart phones, unlimited data plans, and already know and like each other
- that's it; there's no other reason to group text
Group texting is not okay if:
- you are sending a large blast of information to everyone in your phone book who might be interested
- you are sending a text that only requires people to respond to you, and not to each other
- there is one or more person in your send list who does not have the phone number of another person or persons on your send list
- there is one or more person in your send list who does not know or does not like another person or persons in your send list
- there is one or more person in your send list who is out of data for the month
- it is before 9 AM or after 9 PM (in each recipient's respective time zone), unless you are certain that everyone on your send list is awake and will be for at least two more hours (if someone on your send list is a slow responder/not constantly glued to their phone, wait at least five hours before you know people will go to bed) (this is a longstanding rule of phone etiquette that you should have learned by third grade)
Before group texting, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can all of the people in my send list fit comfortably around my kitchen table?
- If they were around my kitchen table, would there be a lot of awkward silence and/or would I have to introduce everybody?
- Do all of the people in my send list need to know the responses of every other person in my send list?
- Is everyone in my send list usually awake and available for at least two more hours?
- Can all of the people in my send list use their data to accept my text and its various responses?
Do not respond to a group text (or turn your data off before responding) if:
- you are not sure who the text was sent to
- you can see who it was sent to, and there are numbers you don't recognize
- it is before 9 AM or after 9 PM (in each recipient's respective time zone)
- you wouldn't feel comfortable shouting your response through a megaphone in Times Square
So there you have it, Gentle Reader. A comprehensive guide. Think of all of the awkwardness and accidental oversharing you and I can now prevent. Think of all of the people whose phone number is not dispensed to a random selection of strangers. Think of the people who will actually get to sleep through the night and make it to work on time.
We can use these rules and make this world a far less annoying place.
Regards, best wishes, and the power is yours,