The Case Against Group Texts

Sending group texts is okay, until it's not

January 2, 2019
Mad at text

© Fizkes | Dreamstime.com

You're planning a surprise party for a friend, so you send a group text to everyone you want to invite. That's a good time to send a group text.

You're due to run an important meeting but are having car trouble. A good way to let everyone know you'll have to re-schedule would be to send a group text to all involved.

But while your intent is probably sweet and heartfelt (ie, "Happy New Year!"), sending a group text to every contact in your phone is never a good idea. For starters, some of your friends may not like receiving group texts but don't know how to tell you not to include them (you ARE sending them a warm greeting, after all). Also, some may not realize it's a group text and unwittingly respond to everyone a message intended only for you. The possibilities for awkwardness are endless and pretty much everyone I know has experienced a bad "group text" experience.

This past New Year's Eve was no exception. I was on the receiving end of a few  "Happy New Year" group texts. And like clockwork, the responses from people I don't even know starting popping up. "You too!" "Happy Year, too! Let's get together this week!", "You too, hey, how's your mom? Send her my best!"  etc. Then things turned ugly when someone else I didn't know responded with, "Hey, this is a group text! Stop it, everyone! Some of us have to work early tomorrow!". That message resulted in even more messages from NYE revelers who responded with texts like "Every party has a pooper", "Put your phone on silent if you don't like it" and "Lighten up, Francis".  People I don't even know were arguing in a group text about group texting. This went on until at least 3:00 am. I spent the better part of New Year's Day blocking all of the unfamiliar numbers in that text thread so it won't happen again on, say, Valentine's Day or God forbid, Mother's Day.

There are ways to politely bow out of a group text in iOS and Android, learn how here.