In this big bitter world of ours, it is increasingly important to be a multitasker. There are too many unimportant things going on to do just one thing. Kids are aces at pulling off multitasking. They can watch Tik Tok, Snapchat their friends, play video games, watch YouTube, not clean their rooms, and forget to do their homework all at once. I’m not as good at multitasking as kids are. In fact, the only real multitasking I can do is listen to music and ignore other people at the same time. Not everyone can pull that off, but as an expert user of headphones and one that has a lot of experience ignoring people, it’s second nature to me. But let’s be real here, I prefer monotasking.
Okay, I guess I can multitask one more thing. I excel at getting stuck between a rock and a hard place. I find problems where others find solutions. I choose to work at places where there are three or four bosses to report to. I’m really good at not trying, and still find myself thrusted into feuds between family members that I try to stay out of.
For instance, some kid that lives in my house might say, “Hey dad, can I go over to my friend’s house?” My autoreply always defaults to, “Did you ask your mother?” When he replies back that mom isn’t home, I always default to his least favorite answer. “Mom says, ‘No’.” And then he says, “Mom said I could.” so then my autoreply defaults to the exact option that will gets me most in trouble with my wife. “Well, if your mom said it was okay.” He leaves, and then mom gets back. She almost immediately asks, “Where is the boy? Did he do his homework?” and then my brain quickly looks through the script. I don’t see anything, so I say to my brain, “Line?” but the stage director is on break. That leads to improvisation, which I prefer, but it also means that I come up with the wrong answer. Especially when my wife, the director, has the full script.
My circuits overload, and I just start saying, “Does not compute…Does not compute. Too many questions…”, so I say something I think is funny and leave the room so the other actors have their tense dramatic confrontation scene.
Never be the mediator between two parties. Only professional hostage negotiators and lawyers should ever negotiate and they get paid lots of money to screw those things up. I don’t pass messages back and forth between people, without royally screwing them up. Do you know why we played that Rumor game as a kid? To teach us to never gossip, or a mediate between two people. The negotiator always gets blamed when something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong.
Speaking of horrible ways to communicate, group texts are most bitter thing on the planet. Can we all admit that unless we are drama kings or queens nobody likes them? They do nothing but annoy 99% of the people in the group. I’m in one that I like (and even that one is hard to keep up with), and every other one is stupid, annoying, useless, dramatic, underutilized, overutilized and almost make me wish I had a limited number of texts like back in the day. Or that I had a flip phone that took me 40 minutes to write a text.
My wife is in at least 9 groups and her phone is constantly beeping. It could be 7 am, or 11 pm, one of them is always going. How am I supposed to play video games at night while she sleeps, when she keeps getting stupid texts all the time?
I might even put up with them, if I could get the relevant information, and then slip out the back door. Sorry. Once you’ve entered the chat, there is no going back. Which may be okay, if you had the veto power to get out of the group chat in the first place. You might be the least needed person in the world on a group chat, but once someone squeezes you into a group chat, you can never leave. A group chat is a contract that is more forever than a cable subscription and one that will be sending you texts long after you are dead. There is nothing that has less to do with you, that will require more of your time.
Many would say there is a way to get out of a group chat. Throw your phone into the middle of the Indian Ocean and get a new number. The problem is that sharks, whales, octopi and sea urchins would get so sick of the beeping, that they would get caught by a fisherman just so they could throw the phone back. Then the fisherman would get so sick of the “nosy-mom-with-nothing-better-to-do-but-post-on-Facebook-and-group-chats, that he would use “Find My Phone” and travel to the other side of the equator just to hand me my phone back. No interface left, barely intact, but still somehow receiving group chat texts. Like the Terminator of applications.
Next week, I’m attending an in-person summit with Apple, Samsung, Google and every other global phonemaker. Not to talk about privacy, new technology, the chip shortage or how to deal with the global markets. There is only one item on the agenda. The disablement, disarmament, and complete decimation of group texts. As you know, the group chat has started every major war since the beginning of time, and probably started the Big Bang. We’re still looking into that.
It is time. The Global threat must end now and I for one, will be making sure that it can never harm another person again. Please join me in stopping this threat. My Venmo is @ben-gardner-18. End the suffering now.
Bitter End the Suffering By Ending Group Chats Ben