01 Nov The Problem with Group Chats
Group Chats. Whether for family, sport, work or pleasure, most of us belong to one or another. With the advent of the pandemic in 2020, these chats became an emotional and practical way to keep in touch with the outside world. However, this period also exposed the problem with group chats, which for many has overshadowed the usefulness that they once provided.
The Work Chat
With the advent of Whatsapp in the early 2010s, many workplaces started using group chats as a method of communication. Why send a lengthy internal email when you can just post to the chat?
In a world where working from home has become the norm, chats acted as a “virtual water cooler” chat for the 21st century. The contents of these chats are felt to be private, with no real world consequences for what was said. But, of course, there are. Not only have there been cases of firings for group chat comments, they also have unforeseen consequences. Bullying and employee burnout are chief among them. The “right to disconnect” movement was partly inspired by the 24/7 modern work week. Work chats also have a negative effect on employee performance, with one study estimating an average of eight minutes from replying to chat to returning to the task at hand.
And the problems with chats has now permeated our homes, in the form of the family group chat.
The Family Chat
When the pandemic hit, the family and friends group chat became more important than ever. With real life communication gone and some families separated by thousands of miles, it seemed the only option. However, the sheer number of members in single groups created the first of many problems: switching off. Constant notifications, and a fear of missing out or FOMO resulted in many users feeling annoyed or even isolated. We have three top tips on how to successfully detox from the family group chat.
1. Mute Notifications
Instead of being constantly annoyed by sounds and banner flashes, simply mute notifications. This will not only enable greater relaxation but also allow you to choose when you go back. This makes it more likely that you’ll be able to use it effectively.
2. Cut Back Daily
A useful analogy for activity on group chats is to think of it like a sauna: stay for a while, then leave. Whilst it might not be in your best interest to stop checking the chat right away, it definitely is in your interests to cut back your daily chat time. Choose specific times in the day to leave the chat alone and engage in activities off screen.
3. Leave the Chat
This is the most drastic but also the most simple of the tips. Taking a break from the constant chatter of family and friends online can be a better way to interact with them off it.
If you are still looking for tips or tricks, our new book, “My Brain Has too Many Tabs Open” written by our founder Tanya Goodin, is available to order from Amazon now.