Thursday, March 24, 2016

Group Messaging and Text Etiquette

A couple weeks ago, there was a day when I had three separate group texts going on simultaneously. Let's just let that marinate there for a second. Three. Separate. Group. Texts. My phone was going off all day and usually it was for a simple response such as "ok" or "praying" or something similar to that. It made me wonder if there is or should be some group text or message etiquette. I mean, I doubt Miss Manners wrote a chapter of the dos and don'ts of social media and cell phones. 

I took to Facebook and asked my friends what they thought about group texting and messaging. I found out that some people like the convenience of them and others vehemently despise them. Here are some responses that I got. I think these are a great way to ensure we aren't driving each other batty with incessant dings from FB messenger or constant text message alerts on our phones, and just good rules of thumb for being considerate. 

"Unless the group is texting about a common activity the group is doing together, a person on the receiving end should reply by private text to the sender. I do like the convenience of group text for the sender. I hate it when people group text me about things that don't have anything directly to do with me and my phone blows up all day." 

"Ok for the sender to send out in a group text, but I don't need to hear everyone reply yes/no. That can be done directly."

"The first one I thought of is being in a group text and I don't have all the numbers saved in my phone. I want to know who I'm saying what to! But that's just my OCD and paranoia kicking in."

"Keep the number of people in the group small. Make sure that they know each other (and therefore likely know exactly who is in the group, as opposed to knowing a couple of people and just seeing the numbers for others)."

"Being a nurse and in people's homes, I need to keep my phone on but forced to turn on silent when added to a group text because it's so rude to be caring for someone and their phone continues to go off.

Group Texting and Messaging Etiquette:

1. If you aren't asked a specific question in which requires a response, don't send a text back. If you want to respond to the sender, send a private message back. That way all the others in the group message don't receive a lot of responses that aren't for them.

2. Don't have a conversation between just two people in a group text.

3. Be mindful of what time you start the group text. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn't call that person at that time, don't text or message. 

4. Be considerate. 

Group texting can be a wonderful thing! It's a great way to send out prayer requests, get information out to a group of people quickly, and to plan an outing or get-together. We just need to be mindful of our responses and what others are receiving on the other end. 

Would you add any rules to this list?

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