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Awesome Etiquette: What To Do About Disruptive Group Texting

Group texting is a double-edged sword: sometimes it’s great, and can help you stay in contact in multiple people at once; other times it’s a nuisance as your screen fills with unwanted notifications, and side conversations. ";s:

Texting has made it easier for us to stay in constant communication but that can also make it incredibly disruptive. Group text messages seem like a great feature, allowing you to stay in constant communication with a multiple people in one window. That is, until late-night notifications arrive and side conversations develop.

"I’m 15 and usually I really enjoy texting my friends. However, I have three friends that know each other well and they like to group text. In my opinion, group texting is a great way to ask questions about homework but not for personal conversations. Often times one of my friends will ask the group a question and someone will answer, but then a lot of the time they will continue on a conversation I am no longer involved in...I do not like having my phone exploding with texts that do not involve me. How do I ask them politely to text each other not in a group message?"

- Amy 

The solution?

Turn off notifications for that particular group conversation. Depending on the type of phone you have it can also be called, "Do Not Disturb" or "Silent." Either way, you'll still be able to see that you received texts when you check your phone, but you will not be interrupted by the audible alert for each text sent in your group conversation.

"How do I ask them politely to text each other not in a group message?" - Amy, 15

If you still want to bring it up with your friends, you can always mention the problem but use different players so they do not feel personally attacked. Share your frustrations with your friends, but sub in a cousin or parent for their roll. This will subtly help them see their group texting behavior could be bothering you. 

If you feel comfortable, you can raise the problem directly with your friends. If you start off with everything you love about having a group conversation, your friends will likely be more receptive to any suggestions you have about moving sub-conversations and digressions off the group text to direct messages. 

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