10. The chatterbox
Chances are, you’re in a group chat of some kind. Whether it is a work WhatsApp group or a Facebook conversation with your crew, you’ll notice they’re all the same. For example, every group has a chatterbox. Updating the group on every single moment of their life. From the 6.30am sunrise photo to the midnight taxi driver anecdote, they keep up a relentless torrent of inane drivel throughout the day that has you reaching for your phone every 15 minutes.
9. The spy
Or the secretive lurker who hides on the fringes of the group without ever commenting on anything that happens. The little ticks and notices on different applications show you that they’re reading every message, so why aren’t they joining in? A simple “yes” or “no” is all you want, but don’t expect the spy to jump off
the fence and give an opinion.
8. The awkward one
You’ve been watching the banter unfold in the group for half an hour and decide to leap in with a gag of your own. You think it’s the perfect joke, and after tapping “send” you sit back and wait for the LOLs. But all you get is silence. The awkwardness you bring to a face-to-face conversation is no less obvious in a text message. It’s not like people can pretend they didn’t see it, the blue ticks are there. All that’s missing is a GIF of tumbleweed blowing across the screen to punctuate your conversation-killing contribution.
7. The side chatter
You just know that at least four of the people who are showing up as “online” are having private discussions about the message group right now. The conversation about the conversation is where the interesting decisions are made and the real power lies. If you’re not doing the talking, then the chances are, you’re being talked about.
6. The argumentative one
Tensions have been bubbling since one couple, it’s always the same one, left brunch without paying their bill. Resentment has been slowly building and it all comes out in a passive aggressive stand-off between warring parties in the group. All you can do is grab some popcorn, sit back and watch events unfold. While possibly side-chatting with both of them to make sure they know you’re agreeing with each of their points.
5. The spammer
Ping. Ping. Ping. The group chat gives the impression you are a networking superstar with a steady stream of messages keeping you up to date with world affairs. Ride the wave of that false perception as long as you can because if anybody ever finds out it is your building’s “Garbage room watch” letting you know that waste bags have been left in the corridor again or your five-a-side football team showing each other pictures of their favourite burgers you will seem less important.
4. The over-sharer
Please don’t tell the group about your tummy trouble ever again. While we’re at it, you can skip the group updates about how badly you slept as well.
3. The needy one
If you thought for one second the needy comment just left in the chat was a real problem you’d leap in and help. Because you’re a good person. But, the cynical part of your mind thinks, you know that commenter is bored in a taxi across town and just throwing a fishing comment out there to get some chat going. Don’t take the bait, use the mute option. Just know that next time you look, there could be 112 messages and that you’re probably going to scroll through every one.
2. The impulsive one
Why did they leave the group? Did they take offence to a joke? Was it something you said? Did the over-sharer’s incessant stream of emojis finally make them crack? Should you contact them? Should you make a comment to the rest of the group about the sudden departure? Is the world ever going to be the same again?
1. Fear of missing out
The incoming message is like an itch that needs to be scratched. You know you should mute the group. You know you can catch up with goings on at any time. But that FOMO is telling you if you don’t pull your phone out of your pocket it will be the one time somebody has some genuine news.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He’s a little bit of all of these.