A TikToker has laid out a compelling argument for why group chats should no longer be the go-to for homie-centred events planning. I began as a hater and I walked out a believer. Allow me to take you on that same journey.
For many years, group chats have had a hold on us. Even looking back to the original Facebook days (I’m 25, I skipped MSN), they always seemed like the easiest way to organise something between pals.
But in recent years it does feel like the waters have muddied a little as we realise that what might’ve been the most convenient way to do things wasn’t always the best.
The sentiments are expertly identified by creator @katherout (first name Katherine) who self-identifies as a “mystery indulger & friendship theorist”.
“I am becoming anti-group chat, but not for the reasons you’re thinking,” she begins.
“Probably for most reasons, I am pro-group chat but when it comes to making plans … I think that it visibilises dissent.”
Compelling. Do go on!
“What I mean by that is, when someone drops a random proposal into a group chat, like ‘hey, anyone down to go to the park on Thursday?’ — that message becomes quite vulnerable to the first person who chooses to respond.
“Cos if the first person is like ‘yeah I’m down’, then a positive sentiment gets attached to those plans in the group chat. Maybe it picks up momentum, it snowballs into something bigger.
“But when it goes the other way and the first person replies negatively, like ‘I can’t go…’, then it kinda snowballs and picks up momentum the other way.”
Katherine goes on to recall times when she’s been the last person to see a plan proposal after everyone has already denied it, thus feeling the weight of being the deciding vote.
The obvious retort to groupthink like this would be to just do whatever you want, despite the peer pressure to move with the herd, a fact that Katherine acknowledges.
However, the fact remains that doubt has, in her words, “been cast on those plans”.
But never fear!
As any good culture critic should (but often don’t), she offers an alternative.
The method is: texting one person the proposed plan, thus garnering at least 1x (one) other willing participant.
Then, invite other people and mention that both of you are going to [insert plan here] and ask them if they’d like to tag along.
That way, you’ve always got 1x friend in the bank despite how your other friends might respond!
It’s so simple, yet so smart. Big tick.