13 Reasons Why Facebook Group Chats Are Basically Hell On Earth
I turned off the chat function on my Facebook chat about a month ago. Not out of snobbery (although I admittedly favor GChat over the Facebook option for one-on-one communication) or because I hate talking to my friends, but because the freaking group chat action is garbage. Group texts are pretty vile, but at least they don't threaten disrupting work flow the same way a computer-based distraction like Facebook group chat can. Group chats, in short, are the absolute worst. They're either the result of someone trying to promote their event or crowd-sourced fundraiser, in which case you have to deal with a LOT of people commenting things like "Sorry I can't make it! Have funnnn!" and "I donated!", or the conversation is meant to corral people into making plans for a night out or a vacation, which is altogether the LEAST EFFECTIVE WAY OF DOING THIS EVER.
Moreover, group chats are mean. THEY ARE SO MEAN. They're like holding your friends hostage. It's like being stuck at a party except there's no alcohol or music or food or...well, pretty much nothing except having to talk to people which is obviously the worst part of a party. Group chats, more pointedly, are the virtual equivalent to being trapped with a stoned person in a car on a long road trip while you're in the driver seat trying to navigate: a series of incessant and pointless pokes in your shoulder and back, kicking your seat. Facebook group chat is, more or less, hell on earth.
As if Facebook's messaging asset wasn't obnoxious enough the advent of the eventually mandatory Facebook messenger, group chat tries to feign the possible productivity of an email chain. Email chains can be really helpful in nailing down plans or keeping in touch or sharing a hilarious GIF ("spreading cheer") or announcing big news on a more intimate scale. Something about the Facebook interface and the real-time pinging back-and-forth just...ugh. No. When a friend ropes me into a Facebook group chat, I suspect they do so so I may feel included and in the loop, which are both good things. But the reality is then I am punished with a ceaseless string of notification noises and/or having to call a forced strike with keeping Facebook open in a tab. Here is exactly what makes Facebook group chat a horrible, horrible thing:
Everyone is on different schedules
So if the group chat starts blowing up at the beginning of your work meeting marathon, you're forced to later scroll through dozens of arbitrary subject changes and tangents to get the main point of the conversation (if there even is one).
Most of us don't feel compelled to be involved in each step of the decision-making process
Tell me when, where, and who's going. Or not even who's going. I don't care. Tell me when, where, and guarantee someone will be game to split queso. Regardless, I know such a request is futile. I will get involved in all the dumb details of planning this event (group chats are 99% about planning a group outing), no matter what and I will hate all of you and myself by the end of it.
It breeds misleading, disappointing notifications
OH A RED FLAG! Think you posted a fire joke in your status? Did someone foxy like your profile picture? Think again. Everyone is meekly offering suggestions about where to grab dinner tonight.
Everyone is too chill
"We could totally grab apps at that new American spot or like Alyssa said, pizza works. Or anything else!" Oh lord. Stop being so polite. It's OK to have an opinion. JUST PICK SOMETHING ALREADY. "Whatever you guys want is fine with me!" is literally more infuriating than saying, "This is what I want and I am only willing to get my way." In fact, I'm pretty sure if someone said that, they would be hailed as a hero, a leader, and a visionary.
People feel free to wax stream-of-consciously
"Ha" never needs to be included in any exchange ever unless you are clearly trying to blow off another person or group of people. It literally says "I exist, but that's about all you can say for me because I'm not contributing anything," but in two letters. See also: yawn-worthy details about your day. Traffic sucks, which is news to no one. Please don't force me into your captive Twitter feed.
No one cares about your typo corrections
*corrections! We get what you mean, and we don't need a whole new, additional notification that confirms you understand basic spelling rules (even if your initial message did not).
WHO ARE THESE STRANGERS?
Like, bring a new friend to wine night. That's fine. But why are you trapping me in this chat window with people I don't know. I don't need to know anyone's favorite internet acronyms before I've even hung out with them in real life.
Folks you're not crazy about will get involved
Worse than strangers (and those are pretty bad) are people you already know you don't like. Playing nice to people I simply don't vibe with makes me want to hurl myself out of social media forever. It's fake and it sucks. This is why I don't voluntarily involve myself in communication with them, but group chats involving them WILL happen and you're not really allowed to be a jerk ("real") about it.
People will end up sharing links, which they will expect you to click on and appreciate
And basically, I don't have time for...any of that. We can have a worthwhile convo sans help from The Onion.
The conversation gets derailed easily
Cool it with the shark emoji—WHERE ARE WE MEETING TONIGHT??
Often, you're not even directly involved in the conversation
OK, so, now Elizabeth and Jess are double-checking details of an upcoming trip you're not joining? START A NEW THREAD, GUYS.
You can't pretend you're busy
Those damn time-stamped read receipts! They spell out exactly the last time you poked around on the hellhole yet completely vital site. Everyone knows you checked in, so "busy" is no longer an acceptable lie/excuse.
You can't sneak out of the conversation
Everyone knows if you leave. No ghosting possible with this trash feature. A little notification announcing your bounce pops up for the group to see so they may plan icing you out of the social circle as soon as possible. Meh. Probably for the best.
You may draw attention to yourself by leaving, but at least you CAN leave. And you totally should, because Facebook group chat is an unnecessary drain on energy and who's got time for that?
Images: bianca_habichuela/Instagram; Giphy (14)