You know, that thing that we used to do back when we were amazingly absorbed with our mobile phones, 160-character text messages, and unlimited everything subscriptions on any cellular network?
Group messages appear to have died from my end of the spectrum. Gone are the days of when I’d almost always receive “good morning, bibulz!” messages or forwarded quotes and jokes when I wake up.
Right now, every text message on my mobile phone is about location queries, requests, and ten billion como estas. Case in point: gud pm sir Jesse. Kamusta po? Saan po kayo ngayon? Pwede po ba kayo this weekend to cover this and that and write about us please po talaga sorry for the short notice please thanks po talaga much.
That of course, is an exaggeration. I’m almost always kind to people who text me requests. Almost.
But I digress. Leaving the sub-culture of mobile phone group messages probably has something to do with how I’ve grown up and grown out of such nonsensical custom. I’ve learned to delete forwarded quotes and jokes no matter how seemingly interesting they are. Tip: if you simply want to say hello to a friend, write a personal message. You’ll be glad you did.
In some cases, group messages still serve their purpose, especially if you’re calling in people for a meeting or if you’re reminding a few friends to come to your birthday party (because no one else will). But if we’re talking about group messages that are about jokes or non-inspiring quotes by whoever the hell wrote that book you just read, then no, thank you. Let’s stop this madness and move on with our lives.
Everything about idea and thought sharing has migrated to social media. Facebook, for instance, is free. It doesn’t require you to text “10” to 258 so that you can spam people with fluff.
To cut to the chase, group messaging is dead: to me and to the people who value time and joule used by our fingers to punch keys in our phones.
This brings me to my next point and probably the reason why I’ve become so negative towards group messages.
Once upon a time, some idiot somewhere in this city sent a group message through iMessage (Apple’s message service for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad). He thought he was being sweet and thoughtful. He wasn’t. And I knew we were bound for trouble.
You see, if you send a group message in iMessage, all the recipients would see everyone’s contact information. Everyone involved would constantly receive throngs of text in a growing message thread as long as the exchange of replies in the group message continues.
And that’s just messy. And annoying.
This happened to me weeks ago when some guy greeted every iPhone contact he had a “good morning” message through iMessage—and in one thread. It sent eveyone’s iPhones exploding with notifications.
Some were outraged at how the obviously iOS illiterate guy recklessly exposed emails or phone numbers to everyone. Others were amused and messaged, “This is fun. Let’s keep this rolling.”
The message exchange continued until everyone who replied came to the realization that it was getting annoying. Today, my iMessage app is sitting in calm waters.
This digital peace of mind is more than I can ask for.
(Thoughts? Buzz me on Twitter.com/jesiramoun)