You come out of the movies. You are in the midst of a heated debate over the meaning of the movie’s enigmatic ending when you proceed to turn your phone back on. Suddenly, your argument flow is ruined by your phone's uncontrollable vibrations.
You could quadruple the number of contacts in your phone, and it still wouldn’t equal the barrage of notifications. You’re under fire. What is happening? How did you get so popular?
You click on your message application. Wait, what? All of those notifications were from one text chain?!?
The reality is that you were just the victim of a group text. The next hour-plus of your life is about to get really interesting — and really anxiety-ridden.
The number of texts in your notifications
My boyfriend hates it when any of his apps have that red notification bubble. Well, he’s been through a whirlwind since meeting my friends and me.
Suddenly, he started getting included on group texts every other day. He goes to the gym, and by the time he finishes his workout he has 22 unread messages.
He loves my friends, but he does not love having 22 unread messages. There’s something inherently overwhelming about seeing your notifications hit double-digits — especially when you have no idea what those unread messages contain.
The unknown phone numbers on the chain
When you open the group text, the worst thing you can see is an unknown number.
Who is this person? Why don’t you have her number? Is it safe to speak freely while she’s on the text? Did one of your friends get a new number he didn’t tell you about?
The questions in your head are like an avalanche that can’t be stopped.
The amount of information to catch up on
Once you piece together the identity of the unknown numbers, you can now focus on the additional 10 messages you haven’t read.
Maybe you’re just too far behind. Maybe you can’t catch up.
The replies that come six texts too late
Just when you’re about to jump into the conversation, someone answers a question another person posed six messages ago.
Rookie mistake! He just derailed the current state of affairs and brought you back in time. Should you ignore the comment or go with the conversation’s new flow?
So many questions, so little time.
The people that don’t want to be on the chain
Most of us understand that although we may be annoyed by a group text, we also can just ignore it. We can turn our phones to silent and quietly accept the onslaught of messages. We do it for the sake of our friends.
And then there are those people who literally ask to be taken off the chain. They have no sense of self-sacrifice.
The GIFs and Bitmojis that are taking up space on your phone
GIFs and Bitmojis add levity and fun to a conversation. Who doesn’t want to see a cat who just CANNOT?
But they also take up an inordinate amount of your phone’s precious storage capacity. What happens if an unexpectedly beautiful sunset appears that night? You need space for the perfect photo you're dying to share with your friends.
The person who speaks in all caps
I’m sorry, I misspoke before.
The worst thing you can see on a group text is someone speaking in all caps. It’s like the person is consistently yelling at you. You don’t need that stress in your life.
The person who uses periods
It’s a proven fact that people who use periods in their texts are psychopaths.
Ok, maybe they aren’t psychopaths, but they’re definitely less sincere. Who wants to deal with that?
The moment when the conversation needs to be over
The chain has recovered from the confusion. The GIFs have made people laugh. You’ve all gossiped and made plans. Everything is back on track.
The group text should be reaching its natural conclusion, leaving your phone to relax peacefully in your purse or pocket.
But, no, that can’t be the end. One or two people on the chain just won’t let it die. Now you’re being inundated with pictures of dogs, just because. You can do that on your own time; you don’t need to be subjected to it in a group text.
...and when the group text is resurrected days later
It’s been a few days. You think you’re safe. You know the chain can be resurrected at any time, but it’s been quiet.
And then you get out of a class or a meeting, and there they are again: those 22 unread messages. The anxiety starts all over again.
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