What is the reason that some pekple feel burnt out and overwhelmed by group chats? As the lockdown had started earlier back in the month of March, group chats used to be my lifeline. It was only during the pandemic when we had to cut off all our connections with the outer world that we finally got to realize that we have got just one way and that was to continue conversing with our work friends, New York City friends, relatives and old friends via texts. It is regarded as the once-in-a-generation crisis. We started laughing at the memes and thus, began to calm down each other. We also checked in on each other’s families.
However, with the pandemic moving on, it was pretty evident that the group chats have made things worse for many and not better, for that matter. The phone has been lighting up on a constant basis and the News notifications along with 50 to 60 missed texts in less than an hour from different groups started making me feel even more anxious. I started feeling guilty for not being able to respond to a text right away or may be, while checking in on a group thread. I even felt of saying it as an excuse of not being able to respond: “Sorry I missed your message, I was too busy staying at home doing nothing for the eighth consecutive month”?
Suffering from social overload
Group jetsave always meant a lot of people feel anxious and that was not just evident during the pandemic but much before that as well. It was also seen that a lot of people have been suffering from social overload even during the age of social distancing. Lockdown has made a lot of us feel that even during the age so many of us are using messaging applications, and count text messages to be a casual and immediate way to communicate with our acquaintances; they can make us feel so miserable at times.
In a research being conducted off late, it aas svudent that we like text messages much more than emails and in the era when Whatsapp has already reported a 40% spike in the number of users, by the late of March; a study in September of more than 1300 US adults have showed that the usage of digital communications of all sorts have increased particularly during thd Covid, thereby causing the frequency of text messages go up by 40%. Indeed, we are lucky to have technology along with us – without Zoom, Slack and Whatsapp. However, group chat platforms come with a far lonelier experience. At times, these group chat platforms come with an intimacy and immediacy that can make participating in them feel stressful.
Elias Aboujaoude, a psychiatrist at Stanford University in California who specialises in the intersection of technology and psychology, “One reason they stress us out is the built-in urge to read a text in real time – and the parallel expectation in online culture that you will also respond in real time.” It gives us a “sense of having fallen behind and broken a major rule of online communications.”
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