Death By Text

Being in a group text is like being at a party. Except the party goes on 24/7, and the only music to be heard is the infamous Apple tri-tone alert sound, sometimes going off multiple times simultaneously. A group text is not a new concept; in fact, the Internet initiated a rise in group communication with chain emails, forums, Facebook group pages, etc. However, nothing is as streamlined as the iMessage group text. And I’m not talking about a group MMS, where the texts are colored a brash green, most likely due to the fact that one of your friends is team android.

Texts are sent and delivered within the same millisecond, and this instantaneous form of communication allows for a constant flow of words to fill up your iPhone screen, causing sent messages to recede into the unseen archives of your phone. Sending a text in a group text is like pushing a stroller out into a highway; one hopes that it will go noticed, but it is not uncommon for your text to get run over or lost in the perpetual traffic flow of grey bubbles.

There are unwritten rules of the group text. If someone is trying to scroll up to catch up on recent texts in the group chat, do not send a text, as their phone will automatically fall to the bottom of the group text, causing them to lose their place. What happens in the group text stays in the group text, and the opinions of others are not to be published on a public form of social media without consent.

By sending something or talking about a subject that has already been sent in the group text, it shows that you are not keeping up on your reading of the group text, and therefore, failing to be a good friend. It is okay to show great enthusiasm about something, but sending more than seven consecutive texts at the same time is an inconvenience to others.

There are benefits and disadvantages to the group text: having all your homies in one place is a plus, but trying to make plans in the group text is like trying to calculate the mass of the sun with a potato. And when your friends finally decide where you’re going and who’s driving, it’s really confusing when someone texts “here” in the group text, and everyone is wondering which house the driver arrived at. Also, don’t be alarmed if you leave for five minutes and come back to a red bubble in the upper right hand corner of the green text messaging app that has soared into the triple digits.

Group texts are fun, but they can get chaotic. If you choose to send a photo in the group text before posting it on Instagram or Twitter, remember that your closest friends are your biggest critics, and if necessary, a group-wide roast will ensue. Also, if you choose to state your opinion, prepare to have at least one person disagree with you, while the others reply with “true,” which is a general term of agreement. If you choose to participate in a group text, you have to be okay with the fact that your phone will almost always be going off. And if you want to sound really popular, turn your phone off of silent and let the alert tones do their thing. Just don’t let anyone look at your phone and notice that you’re only receiving texts from the same four people.

I’ve been in a group text for awhile now, but I made the controversial choice of leaving it (yes, you can add and remove people from your group text). I started to feel anxious when I wasn’t reading the group text, because I felt that there was always a conversation going on without me, even if that conversation was pointless. I couldn’t handle the overly stimulating feed of information, and I needed to diminish my desire to pick up my phone and “send it in the group text,” when I should be talking to my friends in person. To return to my metaphor, the group text is a party, and it was past my curfew.