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  • Tara R

OVERTEXTERS ANONYMOUS



Hi, I’m Tara...and I’m an overtexter.


Ok, I said it. I used to have the pandemic to blame, but I think that gig is up. It’s still true that good news is hard to come by, and uncertainty looms, but my carpal tunnel is, like, seriously not improving. And yet it's all worth it. You know why? Two words: group text -- aka the modern panacea for all that ails you. Sure, there's a big world out there that might be vexed, but right here, right now, in my very own vibrating hand, exists a tiny universe of chats that just might save us.


And I, for one, am addicted. I suspect you might be, too. Here are the top 9 group chats that keep us coming back for more:


1. The Tracker

It's a lot of work, keeping up with the Covidians, but someone's gotta do it. “We should do a spreadsheet” is the refrain of choice, and the signal to all to do the lazy man contact trace. Sympathy abounds, as even the most extroverted must channel their inner Travis Bickle upon testing double pink. “You talkin’ to me?! Well, I’m the only one here!” Conversely, those who are covid virgins (covirgins?) will offer soup while silently stewing because they never got a 5-day forced staycation replete with family-assisted meal service and ample time to talk to themselves in front of a mirror. Disclaimer: This type of text is safe for everyday use, as needed...


2. The Name Game

Sure, group chats can be a dime a dozen, but your group has really arrived when it has a name. A named group text is like a divine secret society into which ordinary mortals cannot be initiated. Once a chat has a name, you can no longer add to the conversation; enrollment is full. I mean, isn’t that why God created the acronym IYKYK?? Oh, and yeeeah, you can’t leave a group chat that’s got a title unless you want people to talk smack about you; you may have left the conversation, but did the conversation really leave you? Disclaimer: This type of text is HIGHLY addictive… which brings me to…


3. The Side Text

A group chat is nothing without side texts – a large group of texters need some space to air grievances! Like in any good union, having a little something on the side can keep things spicy. Side texts can be validating, and exhilarating. You can get swept up in the thrill of double-dipping, that flush feeling of panic when maybe you sent something to the wrong group; the cascade of relief when you realize you did not. Disclaimer: This type of text is habit-forming, but non addictive. But, may trigger...


4. The Side Text that Spirals Out of Control

Holy crap, how the F did we get here?!? Ummmm, bit of advice: keep your side texts short and to the point. If you let your fingers do too much talking on a side text, you could find yourself lost in a convolution of your own making; a seasoned side texter would never let a new thread overthrow the original. Disclaimer: This type of text is non-addictive, but can definitely leave you feeling strung-out.


5. The Post-Pandemic-Plans Recap! aka Have I Told You Lately That I Love You

It was SO good to catch up; we had the best time!! We may have told you as much, several times, while we laughed and ate and drank. We told you again as I poured half my 5th drink into my husband's glass, and then we all poured ourselves into Ubers. But you know what? Maybe that wasn’t enough. Maybe you guys didn’t hear me. And thus, I need to send a follow up text with a nice note, some visuals, and a few google links to stuff we talked about. In fact, I’ll rehash well into the day tomorrow. But I don’t have a problem or anything. Disclaimer: Proceed with Caution. Compulsive thoughts may occur.


6. The Minimalist: Purpose-Driven Texts

Efficient and goal oriented, this chat exists amongst your kids’ friends‘ parents to get the 411. What time does the party end? What’s the best lice shampoo?! If I need to plan a carpool, or to discuss the availability of a booster shot, this chat is the quick fix. Not the most exciting of exchanges, but you actually may be wowed by the scope of your own orbit. People who appear asleep at the wheel suddenly come alive with their child's exact GPS coordinates, and that powerhouse who never seems to know the teacher's name chimes in with the best way to peel a potato. Disclaimer: This type of text is non-addictive, but you’ll be hooked anyway…


7. We Are Family.... There’s always something brewing in the family group chat, though they only ever reference one of two things: essential information, or tattle tale-ing. Dinner will be in 5 minutes. That bitch stole my shirt. Oh, how quickly a mom can get hooked on the winsome, rapid fire text-feuding of her beloved offspring! Sometimes, an in-person argument bleeds into siblings hurling virtual insults at each other as soon as they are out the door; other times, they are sitting beside me on their respective phones, furiously ping-ponging accusations at each other, interspersed with pleas like “Mom, are you seeing this???” Oh, I am, and it’s doing nothing for my 12-step program to look up. Disclaimer: This type of text is impossible to quit.


8. Cousin Love: The Extended Family Group Chat

Once the first person in a family remembers it’s someone’s birthday, this chat can be fast and furious, but without much gas. Memes abound. There’s always that one phone number you never entered into your contacts, so it comes up as a random 413 area code that could be a distant cousin, or it could be the dude approaching your building with your Grubhub -- but why would he have a picture of you from a Seder in 1985? Disclaimer: Use as needed. Side effects may include getting to know your delivery guy…


9. The More The Merrier: Group Gift Texts

Easiest text chain ever, for everyone except the person who starts it. Mental check to: not include your host, double check who you’ve included, and triple check who you might have left off. Complicated stuff, and then you’ve gotta get those side texts out requesting payments. Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished! Disclaimer: May cause confusion. Avoid operating heavy machinery when group gifting.


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