Please don’t hijack my phone: A plea for group texts.

When someone sends a mass email to many, most people blind-cc everyone, so people can’t “reply all” and inundate all the recipients or gain access to their email addresses (and make it easier to get spammed).

When someone sends a mass Facebook message to many, there’s a simple “leave conversation” option.

But when someone sends a mass text, it’s as if a mob of people hijack your phone.

I’m not saying there are not situations that call for a “group conversation” text. For instance, if you’re trying to plan something, such as a family gathering, and it’s best to see each person’s response to make sure everyone is on the same page, go for it. It saves time of trying to convey each person’s response to everyone else who needs to know the details.

However, if you’re simply conveying information, just an “fyi,” please click that little box that says “send as individual conversations.” You still just have to send it one time, but the follow up comes specifically from people who want to reassure you, ask a clarifying question, etc. If someone wants to share their story that relates to your text or catch you up on their life, share the latest piece of gossip, or get into a debate, everyone else doesn’t have to be a part of the conversation.

When you receive a group conversation, there’s nothing you can do to get out of it. Even if you delete the conversation, as soon as another person responds, your phone lights up or vibrates. It’s like sitting in a waiting room and the people on either side of you carry on a conversation around or through you as if you’re not there. They could just as easily move to two empty seats, or ask you to switch places so you can have a little privacy. It’s like someone using a speaker phone so that you loudly hear all the details even though you’re not actually part of the conversation…when it would be just as easy for the person to step away to a less crowded area to chat. It’s like a chat screen constantly fills your computer screen like an annoying pop-up despite you signing up for anything.

All I’m asking is that people consider and respect others around them, whether they’re physically in the same place or simply sharing cyber/cellular space. The nice thing about technology today is the ability to reach out to people with abbreviated messages in a quick timeframe. But we need to consider not just our perspective of sending but also the perspective of others receiving what we send.

Let’s reach out and hand something to someone instead of inundating them with an unsuspecting game of dodgeball.

 

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