It’s 2020 and my thumbs are exhausted.
Sure, the rest of me — mind, body, soul, etc. — is tired as hell, too. But my thumbs. My poor thumbs. They’re spent from furiously typing thoughts, updates, and responses to the various group chats that are constantly blowing up my phone.
I have a group chat with my whole family in it, a group chat with only local family members, at least six different friend group chats, two coworker group chats, a college group chat, and more. And any time significant news breaks — which, in 2020 seems to be all the time — three or more of these group chats start popping off without fail.
Group chats have really adapted well to all this fast-moving breaking news in 2020. Really on top of their game.
— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) October 2, 2020
With constant coronavirus updates being reported and substantial political news breaking on a weekly basis, there’s just so much to discuss with the group chats.
Unlike public forums like Twitter, group chats often act as safe spaces where you can share your honest, unfiltered feelings with those closest to you. You can type in all caps, send unhinged GIFs, tapback to your heart’s content, and even send news with wild screen effects — such as echo, confetti, or lasers — for added dramatics. It’s a cathartic form of communication and one that conveniently allows you to keep in touch with more than one person in your life at a time.
The 2020 news cycle, in all its relentless chaos, is exactly what group chats were made for. The chats have been popping off all throughout this absurd year, but they may have reached peak-engagement after the world learned that Donald and Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19.
The group chats are AFLAME tonight
— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) October 2, 2020
*Looks at the latest news*
This is the morning I’m grateful for my group chat.
— Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson) October 2, 2020
Group text traffic shattering all-time records.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 2, 2020
The group chats are certainly firing on all cylinders today!!
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) October 2, 2020
my group chats right now are just people sending one link to a tweet after another
— Isaac K. Lee (@IsaacKLee) October 2, 2020
October Surprise has entered the group chat.
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) October 2, 2020
Though the story is still developing and few details aside from the diagnosis are known about the COVID-19 situation in the White House, both Donald and Melania have tweeted to say that they tested positive. The first lady also tweeted on Friday morning to share that she has “mild symptoms but overall feeling good.”
Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
The fact that both the president and the first lady have the coronavirus is a huge deal, and not something to be taken lightly. The diagnosis means that everyone the Trumps have come into physical contact with over the past few days should quarantine and get tested for the virus themselves. And depending on how Trump’s symptoms progress, the virus could wind up impacting upcoming debates and the 2020 election cycle.
It’s a wild time for news, and everyone wants to scream about it. But instead of taking your immediate, extremely blunt 2020 reactions to social media, consider keeping them in the group chats. They’re a place to privately release your emotions, share your fears, float your elaborate theories, and ask all your embarrassing questions.
Just a regular reminder that you can, in fact, keep it in the group chats
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) October 2, 2020
In this emotional roller coaster of a year, group chats are helping us stay sane and connected. And for that, we’re grateful.