Class Group Chats Head-to-Head


Nandini Jain and Lucy Bloomstran


The camaraderie that one feels with their class is one like no other. It is the jokes, the traditions, and the meaningful friendships within one’s class that makes school something to look forward to. A class group chat not only enhances said inside jokes, traditions, and meaningful friendships, but serves as an efficient way to share important events, thoughts, and ideas.

In order to make this argument as convincing as possible, I believe it would be useful to start with some statistics. I decided to be tech-savvy and utilize my GroupMe class group chat to use the “poll-maker” while conducting some research. I sent out a simple question: do people like this group chat? Out of the 58 people that replied, a whopping 44 answered “yes,” while only 14 replied “no.” A majority of the class interacts with and uses the chat, but also gives it positive feedback.

Mia Meier (’19) summed up her opinions. “the class group chat offers the unique opportunity for all of us to take part in a sort of running dialogue, effectively bringing us closer together.”

At this point, you still may have some questions. It’s dandy that people like it, but what about its utility? Well along with being tech-savvy, I also drilled a hole into my schedule by sitting down and reading the whole class of 2019’s group chat from its inception.

I looked back at the memories that my class had formed through the world of memes, likes, and texts. What I found did not disappoint me. I discovered fruitful debates over making Spirit Day shirts, creating Halloween assemblies, and whether putting up a “tall pointy bush in celebration of Festivus” in the commons was legal. I found the explosions of excitement over Kennedy Holmes (’23) and the ringing of the home phone to announce a snow day. I found the dramatic stories of drives home on that fateful Friday afternoon, accompanied by pleas to send angry emails asking for a snow day the following Monday. I found Montgomery Plan leaders encouraging their classmates to go out for service events and reminding them to bring cans for the food drive. I found poll after poll, most of which were completely meaningless but still gave me a hearty chuckle. I found my classmates sharing their identities, their successes, and their ideas. These important conversations would have been so difficult to have without the ease of our group chat.

Yes, the flood of messages can be irritating. The polls can be a waste of time, and it is possible to get sick of Star Wars memes. But all in all, a class group chat brings the class together in a way that few other things can.


At its conception, the class group chat was a revolutionary idea: a means of communicating quickly and informally with your peers without having to deal with the trouble of typing every email address into an email that would be seen by half, and actually read by maybe 15%. By including every member of the class in a GroupMe, classmates could see the information that you wanted to get across, whether it was to notify the class of a personal matter, or a spontaneous theme day like Unconventional Water Receptacle Day, a day that shall live in infamy as my greatest and most appreciated idea yet.

But, like most things, the class group chat will reach a point where the participants are sure to stop taking the group chat seriously and using it as it was originally intended. If we could just have the group chat for that perfect honeymoon phase where the only texts actually pertained to the entire class, then maybe my opinion would change. However, we can all agree that two people having a conversation in a chat with over a hundred people is neither productive nor enjoyable.

The argument could be made that one could simply turn off the notifications on the group chat. However, on the rare occasion that something important is sent in the chat, those with their group chat silenced would miss the important information. This forces each member of the chat to leave the notifications on and scour through the badly cropped Star Wars Prequel memes and spams of polls that no one cares about in order to find said information that may or may not exist.

Have we, as a society shifted so far into the digital age that communication by word of mouth, even email, has become so obsolete that we must be in constant communication with others via group chat at all hours of the day? ’Not trying to go all Holden Caulfield and accuse everyone of being a new-wave phony, but really? Is it so hard to relay information to people that we see every single day that a group chat becomes the only alternative?

Of course, this is not the most pressing issue facing Burroughs right now, and the presence of the glass group chat isn’t the worst thing in the world. But as we move towards a society that seems to be working to eliminate as much face to face communication as possible, there is no way that my side of this argument is going to win, and future Burroughs classes will cease to force their classmates into a battery-draining class wide group chat. But if you’re reading this, I implore you to at least practice better group chat etiquette.