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The 8 Commandments Of Group Texting

Thou shalt follow these rules.
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I'm in a lot of group texts. I have one with my parents, one with my college friends, one with my improv team, and various others that pop up to plan parties and get-togethers. Group texts have the ability to brighten or ruin a day.

1. Thou shalt not text all night

It's not uncommon for me to wake up with 60 texts, thanks to all of the group texts I'm a part of (humblebrag, I know). This is too many texts for one person to reasonably deal with first thing in the morning.

commandments of texting

I know you're not supposed to look at your phone immediately upon waking up, but let's be real. My iPhone is my alarm, and it's the first thing I see in the morning. So when I wake up to a billion texts, it starts my day on a stressful note. It's not ideal.

Consider stopping the chit-chat around midnight, for the sake of your friends.

2. Thou shalt not leave a group text without announcing it

Nothing hurts my feelings as much as someone leaving a group text I started. I totally understand why you would leave and save yourself from an onslaught of texts that aren't relative to your life, but it still hurts. I SEE WHEN YOU LEAVE! We all (those of us using iOS, that is) see when you leave, and it hurts.

If you're going to bounce out of my carefully crafted text thread, please explain yourself and apologize. Otherwise, just let the texts roll in and ignore when necessary. Do you really want to make people sad just because you're a little inconvenienced?

3. Thou shalt keep thy phone on silent

Being on a group text means you're getting a hell of a lot of texts. To be a good Samaritan to those around you, please keep your phone on silent. It's very annoying when someone's phone is constantly dinging or buzzing because they're getting a text a minute.

4. Thou shalt not judge those with different phones

Some people don't have smartphones. Some people's phones can't group text properly. It's nobody's fault. Don't berate people for responding to one person at a time or being unable to respond at all.

5. Thou shalt not rush

If you send too many texts in rapid succession, they'll probably start to get confusing for everyone. It's hard to keep up if there are a lot of people texting at once, and there are inevitably many trains of thought and conversations happening at once.

To keep confusion to a minimum, let a moment or two pass between texts. Your friends will thank you.

6. Thou shalt not lurk

What's the point of being in the group if you're not going to participate? We see you lurking. If you're not participating, we assume you're judging, and we don't need your judgment around here.

7. Thou shalt mute the conversation

Rather than leaving the text thread altogether, just mute it if you have the option. It doesn't hurt anyone's feelings and it will stop your phone from going nuts if you're not interested in being part of the conversation. On iPhones it's called "Do Not Disturb."

Just mute everyone while you're in a meeting and un-mute when you're ready to chat. It can be your little secret.

8. Thou shalt not sext

Nobody wants to see your dingaling. Even the person you're currently dating probably doesn't want your dingaling showing up on their phone, and your friend group DEFINITELY doesn't want to see it. Keep it in your pants.

That is, unless, you're in a mutually-agreed-upon sexting orgy. In that case, let your freak flag fly.

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