Group texts have this unique ability to conjure up all kinds of unpleasantness inside of me. It begins with the incessant buzzing that emanates from my phone. As scores of people dutifully respond to the electronic summons, my phone reverberates with every addition. Now that my focus has been disrupted, I feel obliged to respond to this pestering.
What could possibly account for so much activity?
There, at the top of this eternal dialogue, is a simple message. It’s not altogether unimportant but somehow I feel altogether unimportant in the way the news has come to me. This is no personal conversation; it’s an announcement to the herd, to which I apparently belong. Group texting is as personal as those infernal planes that buzz by the beach dragging banners advertising cheap shrimp. If this offence was limited to a convulsing phone and some injured pride I could bear it, but what comes next is unbearable…
Apparently, everyone has responded. Now begins the internal dispute over my response. If I do respond then I am complicit in this electronic kidnapping, but if I don’t I could be perceived as indifferent. Actually, I am quite indifferent but I don’t want to be perceived in that way. Folding under the digital peer pressure I consider my response. To my chagrin, the early responders have used up all the pithy retorts, and all I have left is a limp “yay”. Shameful!
Thanks to this ghastly process I have been disturbed, diminished, and enfeebled. In a better world group texts would require the same emergency threshold as 911 calls and responses would be limited to a simple acknowledgment.