Technology has sparked a whole new category of etiquette questions that we've never had to think of before. And now, with text and online messaging popular across generations, some of us may have different thoughts on what are the best rules to keep in mind when talking to a group electronically.

It's great to be able to get a message across to a group of people all at once. Maybe you have to let your family know that you'll be late to a gathering, maybe you have to give your coworkers a heads up about something, or maybe you just don't want to have to type the exact same message to a bunch of friends one after the other.

But when can group messaging get on peoples' nerves?

Here are some personal rules that I try to keep in mind and stick by:

  • Keep it short - Long messages or numerous messages in a row can be disruptive. If I have to say something to a group of people, I try to keep the group message short and follow up individually if necessary.

  • Don't include people who don't know each other - If someone doesn't have my phone number, there's usually a reason. Maybe I don't know them, or maybe I actually don't want them to have my number. When I group message people, I try to keep it to people who know each other and, to the best of my knowledge at least, are friendly with each other.

  • Don't reply to the whole group - This is probably one of the biggest issues: if everyone starts to reply to the whole group, everyone is going to get inundated with message after message that most individuals in the group don't need to be a part of. If I need to respond to a group message, I always message individually, rather than to the whole group.

  • Keep time in mind - As we covered before, not everyone keeps the same hours, there are few things worse than being woken up either late at night or early in the morning by a group message that probably could have waited.


It's great that it's so easy to get messages across more easily than ever, but I think if we keep these simple guidelines in mind, there will be a lot less grumbling about a group message that could become a nuisance.