How To Group Text

Flickr / Emily Hildebrand
Flickr / Emily Hildebrand

You’ve probably been wondering how to do this properly this for a while. The first rule of group text is there are no rules. Group text isn’t some type of stupid club where you beat each other up in a basement.

Group text is a means of communication for the new world. Or maybe it’s the next world. It’s become difficult for me to express myself outside of group text, or to hear my own thoughts over the constant notifications from my phone.

10 STEPS TO GROUP TEXTING

Step 1: Obtain your friends’ phone numbers

Step 2: Obtain your friends’ real phone numbers

Step 3: Go on a vision quest.

Go out into the desert like Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in that movie about The Doors, or a geologist. Make sure you have enough water. It’s like 100 degrees in the desert. Search inside your soul.

You need to make sure that you’re actually ready for what is about to happen to your life. Bottom line: you’re not. However, joining a group text is like having a baby—no one’s ever really ready for it, it requires near-constant attention, and you’re never gonna sleep again.

Sure, you can mute the group text, I guess. I mean, would you turn off your baby monitor? Would you leave your baby alone inside the Internet? You would? A baby? Stop being so selfish. There’s no ‘you’ in iMessage.

You signed up for this when you made a pact with the devil started texting more than one person at once. You’re gonna raise this group text or die trying; see you in 18 years.

Step 4: Begin texting your friends.

Step 5: Endure a conversational and informational avalanche in perpetuity.

Step 6: Attempt to engage with even one of the conversational threads firing at you like lasers. Switch threads. This is a game of ping-pong with one thousand balls. Lose track of the thread.

Step 7: Stop caring that you cannot follow the thread. You aren’t sure who is addressing whom. People want you to look at this PHOTO. Or maybe they don’t. This description of someone’s night out is interesting, as is the fact that they didn’t have a good birthday in 1997 and hate belt-clip suspenders. But who is this?

What is the context? Uh oh, are two people arguing about where to have dinner tonight, or are three people describing the political climate of the Baltic states?

Step 8: Lose touch with the outside world. Figuratively, step into the photograph and become one with the ghosts in your phone. Listen to their visual whispers with your eyes. Each letter of text spills out in bubbly blue suspension like a wet mount microscope slide. Drink the water.

Step 9: Start to feel mildly comforting, paralytic warmth. Then, notice you are now hollow inside. Like, maybe you’ve just become an old tree that died—or you’ve been one all along—and now kids ditch school to hang out in the meadow where you stand. They shout their wishes into your cavities.

The wishes bounce around within you. You become concerned about your organs until you remember that you’re just a dead hollowed tree in a warm meadow and words are just vibrating air.

Step 10: Answer questions in the group text without scrolling up. Start calling everyone the same name.  Make each word a separate text. Tell everyone you didn’t come here to make friends. Let chaos reign.

Coda: Get voted out of the group text. Begin to heal as you watch redbud and cherry blossoms bloom. Bury your phone underneath them. Start over. TC mark

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