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GroupMe Etiquette For Dummies

GroupMe: the app any over-committed college student loves to hate. At its best, GroupMe is a useful way to collaborate or get messages to large groups of people without having to worry about those who don’t check their emails. But in the wrong hands, GroupMe becomes Pandora’s Box, but instead of unleashing the evils of the world, you get endless notifications on your phone.

It’s easy to make the most of the app’s convenience without being obnoxious in the process. Like anything else, there’s just a bit of etiquette to be observed.

1. Take One-on-One Conversations Elsewhere: Is it hard to just text the person you need to talk to? Why do you need to blow up everyone else’s phone to ask one person a question? Not having their number isn’t a good excuse, either. GroupMe has a nifty little feature that lets you have a one-on-one chat with someone you’re in a conversation with. Use it, or just get their number.

2. Limit Self-Promotion: Look, I know you probably worked really hard to plan your club’s fundraiser at Cold Stone, but if the people you studied with for a class you had three semesters ago weren’t already planning to go to Cold Stone, this probably won’t change their minds. They might not even remember who you are or how they got into this GroupMe. If you want to guilt people into going, pester the people you actually talk to.

3. GroupMe Has a Bedtime: Unless it’s absolutely crucial and time sensitive that you say whatever it is you’re going to send, don’t start conversations too late at night, particularly during the week. If it can wait until the morning, save it until then. If the GroupMe’s purpose goes beyond personal interaction, it may be good to establish a couple unwritten rules for when it’s okay to be active.

4. One Answer is Enough: If someone texts a group asking a simple question that has one possible answer, let one person respond. You may know that your meeting is at 6 p.m. in 170 Willard, but if it’s already been said, you don’t get brownie points for answering too. There’s no competition for who can answer first or who can be more right, so just let one person handle it.

5. GroupMe =/= Twitter: Don’t use GroupMe like your personal social network because, shocker, it isn’t. There’s really no need to text your group about the meal you had for lunch or whatever super funny story you just have to tell everyone. I’m sorry, but unless it’s directly relevant to the group’s purpose, these people probably don’t care. It’s better you realize that sooner rather than later.

6. Don’t Drink and GroupMe: Okay, maybe you just ran into so-and-so outside Canyon and you just HAD to tell everyone in the GroupMe for your group project. Perhaps you’re having one of those extra emotional nights and you just need to every member of whatever org you’re in how much they mean to you (I mean, nothing’s more sentimental than a bulk text right?).  Maybe you pregamed a lot but don’t have any other plans and you’re just drunk and looking for some friends. Whatever the reason, keep the drunk GroupMe to a minimum.

The potential embarrassment factor is a lot higher when you’re working with a larger audience, and few things are more annoying than a late night GroupMe explosion when you’re sober and actually trying to sleep. Pro tip: Don’t mix business and pleasure and keep two separate GroupMe’s for your org, so no one has to worry about missing important information between long conversations held entirely in Emoji after 1 a.m.

7. Respect the Underagers Going off the previous suggestion, if you’re going to use GroupMe as a way to make last minute plans with friends, be kind to your under-21 friends and try to make the conversation a little more robust than just “I’m  at Café!” “At the Phyrst come!!” “Omg who’s in line at the Gaff? Can I meet you & cut??” Try to include those who aren’t legal yet. FOMO is real.

8. Mute Responsibly This is, by far, the golden rule of GroupMe. You might have read through this entire post thinking “Okay, yeah, this is nice but just mute the app if you don’t want notifications.” Yeah, that works, except you’re typically in these group texts for a legitimate purpose, even if it is just to keep your group of friends in one place. By muting specific conversations or the entire app itself, you might miss something that’s actually relevant and important.

If you’re going to turn off notifications and not go check the conversation from time to time, you lose the right to complain when you miss something important. You’ve been warned.

Do you have any other tips on how to avoid being that guy a GroupMe? Share them in the comments!

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About the Author

Ali Fogarty

Ali Fogarty is a senior from the suburbs of Philadelphia majoring in Public Relations and Political Science who's passionate about Netflix and everything bagels.

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