We all love a good group chat. You have the one with your besties where the real tea is spilt, the one with the fam where you realise where you got your craziness from or the work one where you all bond over the daily trauma that workplace brings you (our customer service people will feel this deep in their souls!).  We all know the excitement when your phone bings and your screen lights up with a message you are dying to read, buuuuuuut not many people talk about the dread, the anxiety or the FOMO that the constant chatter in group chats can bring.

It’s all well and good when you have 1 or even 2 group chats, but if you’re like us, you have 10 plus group chats on at least 3 different platforms. It becomes A LOT – we get it!  So, what do we do when we want to quieten the madness that exists within our phones? (other than shoving it in a drawer or firing it out a window and hoping for the best). Here’s our guide to our top 5 tips for navigating all of those group chats!

1. Boundaries, Boundaries, And More Boundaries

To avoid driving yourself mad, it is so important that you only join and engage in group chats that you NEED to be in, rather than all of the ones you WANT to be in. Pick the ones that have quality over quantity. You wouldn’t go to 5 Beyoncé tribute acts instead of seeing Queen B live and in the flesh, so why join a useless group chat?

2. Choose Your Platform, And Stick To It

Now we totally understand this is easier said than done, but keeping track of an endless number of group chats is hard enough, without having to figure out if that group was on Snapchat, Insta, WhatsApp or Facebook (Facebook is still a thing, right?! Or are we now officially old?! – Don’t answer that). If you limit the number of platforms you have group chats on, this might calm a little bit of the anxiety involved in following who is talking to who and where. For us, Insta group chats are a hard no. Insta is for mindless scrolling to unwind, we don’t want to be interrupted while we are down a rabbit hole watching people organising their fridges.

3. Notifications – You Choose When People Contact You 

Most group chats and messaging apps allow you to tailor your notifications to suit you. So, whether that means you put your cousins on mute because no, you don’t want to know how much Aunt Cathy paid for her awful new haircut, or you get 1 notification every evening so you can catch up on who is getting called into the boss’ office for spilling a drink on the rich guy. You have the power!! Just don’t let your new-found knowledge go to your head and start having people book time slots to chat with you with a 3-5 business day wait time. Who do you think you are?! Miranda Priestly?

4. Keep Your Nose Out

Having binged every episode of every version of the Real Houswives, we feel we are self-appointed experts on group conflict. Nothing seems to escalate a disagreement more than someone, who is not involved, sticking their nose in and adding fuel to the fire. Even though you might have the best intentions, you can unintentionally make things worse, and once again, adding to the anxiety and stress that group chats bring. No one wants to feel ganged up on. So, our suggestion is if it has nothing to do with you, grab your popcorn, and sit back and watch. Now, we do want to point out, if some one is being bullied, or is in anyway being treated unfairly, you 100% should stick up for them, and support them. But, if they are arguing over the fact Jessica got Lucy a hot latte instead of an iced one, no one has time for that.

5. Leaving Is An Option – So Don’t Over-think It

It might be a foreign concept to most people, but there is actually a button that puts an end to group chat chaos. And that our friends, is the “leave chat” button. If your head is wrecked, just go. Don’t overthink it. No one will mind, and you can always have that one person keep you up on all the goss, which should keep your FOMO at bay. ALWAYS put your own wellbeing first!

Remember, group chats are supposed to be fun and a way for us to stay connected to those we love. If they are starting to cause you stress, step back and evaluate the situation. Life it too short to have others making you feel bad!

To learn more about The Shona Project, check out our full website www.shona.ie or why not check our www.shinefestival.ie to get inspired!

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