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Keep Group Texting Exclusive

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Keep Group Texting Exclusive

Everything social is ruined by over-inclusion. Look at what happened to Facebook: There was a golden era when we were flushed with spring break albums and people confused the status update with the search bar. Every day, there were pictures of girls we actually knew in their bathing suits and our buddies had walls full of hot girls’ names. Now I go on Facebook and it’s a family member writing something that makes him or her sound insane, a hot girl I met at a bar whose “Namaste” post got more than fifty likes, or some friend of a friend who I became “friends” with who thinks he’s the offensive coordinator for the Giants because he plays Madden on the hardest setting. Inclusion ruined Facebook and it’s ruining Twitter now (try not following someone who follows you). The problem is that exclusion goes against everything we were ever taught. Google search “cliques” and the second result is an article called “How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out.” The idea of “cliques” is drenched in negativity, but those cliques are way more important than we want to admit.

The other day, I was in a group text with a few friends. It was great. It was like we were all standing around a virtual thirty-pack at a tailgate: we busted balls, discussed former hookups, and all agreed we’d bang our buddy’s mom. Then someone brought up adding “Tom,” and I thought, “Tom’s a good guy, but this really isn’t his crew.” Tom eventually got added and the conversation continued. I brought up Tom’s hot sister, another friend said that “Rob is coming out with us tonight,” and all of the sudden, a “Rob” I didn’t even bother to save in my phone started texting like the group was some Tinder chick whose first message was “I’m…” followed by the water drops emoji. Rob started referencing movies I don’t care about. He brought up a trip I didn’t go on. My thoughts on Tom’s hot sister didn’t even get acknowledged (according to her New Year’s pictures and her new mustache, she might be transitioning). I put my phone in my pocket and ate some Chipotle. Three minutes after my burrito was gone, I was sitting on a Starbucks toilet. I took out my phone for what I assumed would be a leg-falling-asleep-length poop. Thirty texts. Thirty. It had only been twenty minutes. The conversation wasn’t even close to where it was when I left it. There was no talk about Tom’s hot sister-brother or my buddy’s mom. Three new people with numbers I didn’t recognize had been added. I didn’t even get the jokes. Some asshole from a 934 area code even wrote back, “K.” Like anyone was wondering if “934 guy” was fine with everything he just heard. My battery, like my leg, was dead. My day was ruined by this group text that became a whole new group.

I see this happening more and more with group texts. They grow into groups that don’t exist for me in real life. The mentality of “let’s get everyone together” goes way too far and we’re left in a version of hell where our iPhones give us no option of escaping. Short of talking in person (miz) or talking on the phone (kill me), the group message is our last form of private, dickhead conversation. We need the four-person group text that talks shit on the fifth person everyone knows. A bachelor party needs one forum to discuss the stripper your buddy fell in love with and asked on a date. We need that group we can lean on every Sunday when the weirds hit hard, just to know everyone is in the same “maybe I’m drinking too much” space. We need our best friends to receive an emoji of the woman in the red dress the morning after they saw you leave the bar with a hot chick. (The woman in the red dress is the international emoji for “I got a blow job and I’m now eating a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.”) We’re diluting a social application that has the ability to stay exclusive.

We’ve lost Facebook, and Twitter is as good as gone. Every time you teach your parents that you can’t make a picture bigger on Instagram gets us one day closer to them starting an account. Snapchat feels invincible now, but look at its newest update with what it’s calling “Discover.” CNN has a channel, not Brazzers. That’s not even Maxim. CNN. Hell, I just watched Katie Couric do a report on Yahoo News. She wasn’t put on there because of the cougar porn you enjoy every now and again. We’re months away from your mom checking out Katie’s segment before asking why your story includes so many pictures of friends with dicks drawn into their mouths.

Every application you think is cool will someday suck. This doesn’t have to happen to your group texts until your friends get married and their pictures of babes in bikinis turn into their actual babies in bikinis.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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