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Why You’re Annoying Your Friends

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You may be annoying your friends without even knowing it….and it’s by including them.

If you haven’t already met my friend Mr. Reply-All in an earlier blog post, then please let me introduce you to his younger cousin, Ms. Group Text Message.

Since texting is more often  used in a social vs. professional situation, this is where I’ll keep this post focused. You are primarily interacting with friends and family; people who know and love you. But sometimes they do not love you.

They do not love you very much when their phone is constantly beeping or vibrating with replies from the other 10 people you’ve included in your group text.

Nor do they love you very much when you reply to those 10 responses, making their phone beep even more.

They  want to escape the beeping. Leave the conversation, but you have captured them with your inclusiveness. Darn you.

Now, now my friend. It’s not all your fault that you’re annoying. Those replying to the group text could reply directly to you and only you, the sender, but that would require a few extra seconds and a few extra taps of the finger on their part. So they don’t. They simply reply to the group message.

Group texting isn’t always bad news. Sometimes it’s perfectly efficient and wonderful. As it is when providing an update on a sick relative, letting the team know the time of the game or inviting friends to join you for dinner after work . HOWEVER…..It is most likely that the many replies to your original group text will be annoying. And since you started the group text, you might be unfortunate enough to be considered annoying by some on the message. Quite the quandary.

And so here is my call to action:  just as you need to stop and think before you decide to hit “reply” or “reply-all”, please do the same for group text messages. Stop. Think. Respond. (Hmmmm….sounds like something we should do in ALL forms of communication!) Does everyone really need to see your response? Are you also guilty of speaking to hear yourself speak and this carries over to your electronic communication?

Please cast your vote on group texting. A majority of the time, group texting for social reasons is: A.) Convenient or  B.) Annoying

Mind Your Manners,

Kelly

PS. While writing this post over  the past 30 minutes, my phone has beeped 12 times from A GROUP TEXT MESSAGE. I’m totally serious. Help me! I’m captive!

PSS. To my Dear Friends at Apple.  You are brilliant. You drive the market with your innovations. Please, please, please add some choice for “reply all” or “reply” when it comes to texting within a group message. Or help us to leave a conversation – just like we can do in Facebook. I know I can disable my group messaging in my settings, but then I will miss out on those conversations that I should be part of!

20 Comments
  1. This is some great advice, Kelly. Not only is it annoying but, since we are all being inundated with “messaging,” some important messages may be ignored.

  2. Jean, as always, another great point! Some days the amount of e-mails, texts, FB posts, Tweets, etc. are just too much to really absorb. I also hope I never miss anything too important or time sensitive. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Why does everyone forget about time zones when writing these things?? A,#1 most important thing. Keep in mind when, you’re relative is across the country, what time is it?? I got RUDELY awoken at (yes) 3am by a group conversion. Not cool, not fair, not how I want to start my day….

      • Kelly

        Oh no! Sorry about that Mishelle. Never fun to be awoken at 3AM..and the time zones does make it tricky. You’re not alone. It’s happened to me several times while traveling on the west coast. After the first night, I made sure to silence my phone so I could get some sleep!

  3. I find the concept of group text messaging great as it is convenient to communicate a broad message such as; “we are all meeting in front of the building at 6:00”.
    Where it becomes annoying is when people reply to all about their personal circumstances such as; “have to run to Safeway and will be about 10 minutes late”. That is where you become inundated with useless messages that have nothing to do with you or the group.
    Where it becomes super annoying is when people reply with something completely off topic such as; “hey it was great seeing you guys last night at the soccer game”.
    The issue is that when you reply to a group message you ARE replying to all. Unlike Email, there isn’t an option to just reply to sender. I don’t think many people stop to open a new text message that simply goes to the sender.
    Great blog…thanks for posting.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for weighing in Susan! Love how you captured the various “levels” of annoyance! I too wish there were a way to opt out of replying to ALL on a group text. AND I wish that people – like the ones in your examples – would stop and think a minute before they replied to ALL the people on the group message.

  4. I mainly keep group texts to family communication, so I don’t have that many issues. However, I would like to encourage and educate others to choose facebook audiences more often. I don’t really want to know about your kids’ school issues, or who to vote for in your local election. I try to target most of my posts to an appropriate audience. For example, local friends about a lost dog, Penn Staters about college topics, family gathering photos to family. It is easy to create groups of friends and add people to that list. Then just choose ‘custom’ audience!

    • Kelly

      Excellent relevant and connecting thought Gwen! It’s true – and considerate to post that way. For a time, I didn’t realize it, but now try to have a few groups with relevant issues. If you’d like to do a short guest blog on the how-to, I’d be happy to publish it! I think people would really appreciate the information and some might not even know it exists as an option on Facebook. Let me know if you’re interested: Kelly@EtiquetteforEveryday.com. Thank you Gwen!

  5. I have a most annoying group text problem. A close group of active friends of mine who live in another city and state from me now (all in the 60’s) have discovered the group text. Some time ago, one of the gals, the most bored I’m gathering, started a group text including all ten of us. Well, months later, that same chain of texts continually beep with mundane conversation, usually with nothing to do with me. Last night, as I lay trying to get some much needed sleep after dealing with having a bad case of the flu for three days, one of the gals decided to congratulate herself for her team winning an important football game. And texts started flying, beeping every 45 seconds or so. I asked them to start a new text without me for I needed to sleep because of the flu issue. I said it nice, but the texts still came flying thru. Then they stopped for a few hours but started up again around 6:30 am. Really?!!! I was now livid after having yet another poor night’s sleep. This time I begged them to start a new group and leave me off. Still they continued sending texts. Again I begged them going into detail why…finally the beeps stopped. What to do? Apple must know about this problem, why don’t they create an option for us to remove ourselves from a group? And, do you have any suggestions for me before Apple comes around?

    • Kelly

      Karen, I hear the frustration as you share your example. I’m sure one that many can relate! I too hope in future updates to the iPhone, Apple has a “leave the conversation” option. It’s great to be included with friends,but sometimes……I keep my phone far away from my bedroom. I’m too grumpy without my sleep!

  6. Once I initially commented I clicked the Notify me when new feedback are added checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks! ccekaedagcegedad

    • Kelly

      Hi! I’m so sorry that is occurring. Frustrating….especially that you’re receiving four e-mails. I can’t seem to figure out how to uncheck that box so you are no longer receiving the comments. I also can’t seem to locate your initial comment. Please accept my sincere apologies for not being able to correct this for you. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  7. Apple iPhone has a ‘do not disturb’ option on texts. I opt for that on group texts so that I still receive them but there’s no alert,

    • Kelly

      Thanks for pointing out that feature Sarah. I think it’s a newer one that probably was added because of the frustrations that can happen when you’re part of a group text.

  8. Pleased to find a way to text multiple people once instead of same message 20 times: I sent a group text 2 times. Pleased with my new found easy way to communicate i waited for responses.

    My brother loving explained he could not have his phone going off repeatedly during surgical proceedures because it disrupts the surgery and the patients.

    Who knew?? Not me! An innocent text of blizzard 2016 could kill someone!!!

    My suggestion is if you get group texts maybe sender is unaware of how they really work. Please take the time to lovingly explain it and how it affects you.

    I will never send another group text and significantly change how often I regularly text.

    Do not annoy those you love they may not be there when you need them most. Not good behavior but it happens.

    Just be honest. Most people will then get your big picture and understand and be willing to comply.

    Like the commercial says ” an educated consumer is.the best customer”

    • Kelly

      Thank you for sharing your personal learning experiences regarding group texts Ruth. You make a good point also about how you deliver an honest message may have significance as to how it’s received.

  9. I have been involved in a group text with family members about a sick relative. I was wondering, is it recommended that you respond to the updated text on his/her condition with a thank you, ok, or a or is it best to not respond at all.

    • Kelly

      Great question and real-life situation Allison. Just this week,I’ve been in the same situation: group text with updates on a family member’s surgery. Texting is a fantastic way to provide an update to a group, but it can get bogged down with replies. I would advise an initial acknowledgement of the text, with a “thank you/sending love/ thinking positive thoughts/prayers” etc. After that you need to determine when it’s best to take the texting to a one-on-one with the sender vs. replying to the entire group. That may depend on the size of the group message and who is in the chat. I’ve been involved with group texts where I don’t even know half the people who are part of the conversation, so I most definitely don’t respond to the larger group. Hope this is helpful. I will also send positive thoughts to your sick relative. Thank you for asking such a real questions!

  10. I am so glad to see this post no matter how old it might be. I am going through the exact same situation. My BFF sends a group text to several people and then I have to endure the constant phone beeping because the recipients are using ‘reply all’ and the person who sent the original message thinks it’s okay because I know the other recipients. It doesn’t matter if I know them, I still don’t want to be witness to their back and forth conversation, especially when I’m busy or trying to sleep. And no, I shouldn’t have to turn off my phone to make it go away. I had to tell my friend that I love her, but I didn’t want to see her conversations with other people whether I know them or not. I have a feeling she got a little offended, but I don’t really care.

    • Kelly

      Many join in your frustration Jeana! Sounds like you handled your situation with respect & honesty and I’m sure your friend, after reflection, will understand. You may even have changed how she decides whether or not to send a group text in the future.

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