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7 Deadly Sins of an iMessage Group Chat

iMessage groupchats are the pinnacle of human interaction. Learn proper etiquette before you commit a Deadly Sin.


iMessage group chats are one of the best and most practical inventions ever created. If I had to rank it on the all-time inventions list, it would go somewhere between Bionicles and coal-powered engines. However, as a wise man once stated “With great power comes great responsibility” and it turns out the same applies to these chats. Too often you see people of all backgrounds abusing the power Tim Cook bestowed upon us. Today I will outline the 7 deadly sins of iMessage group chats. If you identify with any of these sins you must repent.

1. Thou shall not interact with messages no longer relevant
Envision this. You have placed your phone down for 15 minutes. You pick it back up and see your favorite group message has 6 new messages. Salivating at the thought of some juicy banter, you hastily type in your 4 digit passcode. The phone unlocks and you pull down the notification center. Instantly you realize the conversation was a mirage. Instead of the friendly exchange you were promised, you have been bombarded with messages that follow the same outline. “John Smith liked blah blah blah” “John Smith laughed at blah blah blah” It turns out your least favorite friend John finally caught up with the chat and has let the whole world know by interacting with each message from the day prior. If you relate to John Smith, just stop. No one cares what messages you disliked or questioned. No one is going to scroll back to a previous conversation and see how many people interacted with their posts. You're wasting your time and my phone battery.

2. Thou shall not interrupt a conversation for an irrelevant comment
A sign of a great iMessage chat is when you have multiple group members all commenting on the same subject. Whether it's sports, politics, investments, or personal Mount Rushmores, this is when a group chat is at its peak. A discussion unfolding right before your eyes, topics shift and change but the banter stays strong. That is until that ONE GUY comes in with his typical stupid comment. You could all be discussing who the next great quarterback is when this guy comes in with “Random question: but does anyone here actually prefer Gillette blades?” It's infuriating, to say the least. A great conversation instantly derailed because the group squid decided to open his mouth. If you want to bring a new topic to the chat, wait until there is a lull in the conversation.


3. Thou shall not undermine plans which do not involve you
FOMO is a real thing, I can speak from experience. It always sucks to open the group chat and see plans in their infant stage, knowing you can’t attend. I cannot lie to you, I am guilty of this sin. Let the record show I have paid dearly. I speak as a reformed man, and I urge you not to go down the same dark path I have traveled. Do not undermine the plans simply because you can’t go. Let your friends have fun. There is no reason to destroy their plans because you have obligations.

4. Thou shall not have a personal conversation in the group chat
The foundation of any chat is its members. Having them all interact and talk in unison is how a group chat would work in an ideal world. If there is one thing 2020 has proven, it's that this is not an ideal world. Too often do I see two individuals chatting in my threads. This isn't always an issue, but if the interaction goes beyond 8 total messages, take it to the private texts. No one wants to listen to the two of you debate value items on BK’s menu. This is in the same vein as liking old messages. If the members of the group chat have to mute it to get away from your endless messages, the chat is doomed.


5. Thou shall not add members to the chat without overwhelming permission
This might be the worst offense on the list. As stated previously the members are the foundation. If you add someone without permission the foundation could crack and fail. I have been in group chats where a new member destroys the camaraderie that was already developed. A good chat is like catching lightning in a bottle. Even if you are just trying to be nice, adding an old friend from high school could ruin the group. It’s a dog eat dog world within the messages app. One wrong move and you could find yourself kicked.

6. Thou shall not abuse the HaHa feature
The “haha” function in iMessage is arguably its greatest feature, right up there with the dislike. The dopamine rush you get while watching your joke rack up haha's is unparalleled. No matter what you say, I know every joke you post is a shot at achieving the clean sweep. Having every single member “haha” your text. I would say it is more rewarding than running a marathon. That is why you cannot cheapen your “haha” by overusing it. Not only does it pollute people's phones with useless notifications, but you also make your “haha” less desirable. I notice if someone laughs at every comment. Just because it is free doesn't mean you have to smash it nonstop. You wouldn't laugh at every little comment in real life, so don’t do it in the group chat.

7. Thou shall not be passive-aggressive
If the members of a chat are the foundation, then the vibes are the framing. (And this is coming from a guy who hates using the word "vibe" unironically) You can have an all-star chat but if no one is vibing, the thread is going to be quiet. That is why it is so important not to be passive-aggressive. You can single-handedly ruin the mood and end all conversation. Not only that, but a good confrontation could promote thread banter. Everyone loves a train wreck, and an argument is the exact same. The internet is typically the place where people are outspoken. Hidden behind a screen they are more willing to be aggressive and speak their mind. That's why if you come flying in with your passive-aggressive comments you truly are a weak spined individual. No one cares if some people might find a comment politically incorrect Rebecca, keep your thoughts to yourself.