Whether for keeping up with family or syncing with your colleagues, group chats are something most of us are likely to use. They’re definitely an invaluable tool for modern-day communication, yet sometimes they can be annoying.
These double-edged swords can lead us down a path of frustration if not properly moderated. To highlight some of the issues group admins and members have to deal with, we’ve gathered a few examples of common problems that you may or may not have already encountered.
Whether or not you’re a group admin yourself, it’s likely that at some point or another you’ve encountered one or more of these issues. As with most things, the larger the group, the more difficult it can be to keep it in line. The group notice may inform you of the rules but somehow group members tend to forget, or blatantly ignore, these at times.
Spammers are users who send unsolicited messages with the intent of advertising, phishing, or simply annoying other members. This can be anything from sending ads to dubious links that lead you to scam websites.
No matter whether you use messaging apps like WeChat and WhatsApp, which limit groups to 250-500 members, or Facebook and Telegram, which support over 100,000 members, you’re likely to encounter this particular problem on all such platforms.
Though you probably won’t need to host that many people in your family group, many brands and influencers choose to communicate with their audience through groups. Not surprisingly, the larger the group, the harder it is to filter out the “bad members.”
No, unfortunately we’re not referring to the cute dolls popularized in the 60’s and 90’s, we’re talking about internet trolls. Trolls are people who post off-topic, controversial, and often offensive content to provoke strong emotional responses from other group members.
Trolls usually aim to exacerbate the other users for either their own amusement or some kind of personal gain. For example, a competitor brand could hire a troll to attack the group in hopes of making as many members as possible leave said group.
Some examples of trolling could be, as mentioned above, spamming offensive images or comments, playing devil’s advocate by going against the opinions of the other group members, or simply using profane language or ‘attacking’ other group members directly.
Admittedly, this is probably the most harmless of the bunch. Inactive members are those that remain quiet regardless of the group’s conversation. Though it doesn’t seem like this would be a big issue, try to imagine being at a dinner table where everyone is silent.
Group admins, particularly for brands or businesses, will try their best to foment conversations among their members. This way, the group’s active conversations can add value to its members and help retain them longer.
Having a quiet group, however, can have the opposite effect and members may choose to leave, thinking: “well, what’s the point?” In this way, having too many quiet members could be the “silent killer” that ends up disbanding the group.
Contrary to the above inactive members, overactive members can be both a blessing and a curse. Logging into your preferred chat app and finding hundreds of unread messages can be very frustrating.
Though you may choose to ignore the previous messages and just catch up on the latest, this doesn’t always work. For example, if you’re in a work group and miss something important, it could reflect negatively in the eyes of your supervisors. Likewise, this also poses a problem if your company posts an important announcement that gets lost in a sea of comments.
You might even try to catch up and read all the comments, being the responsible person that you are, and find that you have questions or a valuable comment for something… but that topic has already come and gone.
The last on our list of group chat frustrations is something that group admins tend to struggle with, keeping everyone on topic. How often do we go off the tangent in our day to day conversations?
Now imagine this isn’t your conversation going off the tangent but someone else’s, a slew of off-topic texts ‘pinging’ you with notifications, for something you’re not even interested in! If that doesn’t frustrate you then you have nerves of steel. Some would opt to leave the group entirely; however, “group etiquette” might kick in and you don’t want to seem rude, right?
Frankly, stricter admins will immediately address the issue and point everyone to the “Group Notice” rules to keep everyone in line. Hopefully you’re in one of these groups, but that’s not always the case.
In spite of these pain points the truth of the matter is that group chats are still quite useful. With them you can keep in touch with friends and family, work colleagues, or your favorite influencer. After all, humans are social animals.
If you’re planning to create your own group, make sure to keep these pain points in mind and hopefully, if you prepare, they won’t surprise you when they happen. All in all, as with anything, building an active, valuable group can be an invaluable asset to both you and your social circles.