High school was a dark and confusing time.
Being involved with high school student theater, my directors often needed to find ways to get in contact with the other students they were directing. Because groups were often too large for a text group chat, these directors needed to find alternative ways to keep everyone on the same page.
Unfortunately, it seemed like nobody had any idea how to properly do this, with people seeming to try one of two things, each involving Facebook. The first solution was a Facebook group, resulting in missed cues from people not frequently checking the social media site.
Another slightly more efficient option was using the Facebook Messenger app, giving more concrete alerts but also inevitably leaving people without Facebook out of the conversation. There seemed to be no concrete way to communicate with a large group of people at once without forcing them onto some form of social media they would much rather avoid at all costs.
At college, the good news has arrived. The gospel of GroupMe has solved this dilemma effortlessly.
When I was first introduced to the service, I thought it was useless, and I questioned why I needed to download yet another application to my already cluttered phone when I could already get in contact with people through so many other social media services. Then, I began to see its purpose.
It seemed nobody had any hesitation about GroupMe. Signing up for the app was entirely non-committal, requiring an email and phone number but not distributing that information to anyone else in your group.
Unlike Facebook Messenger, there was no social media component tied to the app, allowing people to set one barely visible profile picture for themselves and be on their jolly messaging way. This not only makes it easier for students who do not use social media to get information but gives directors and coordinators without social media an outlet to send messages without having to commit to a Facebook profile.
To be fair, email also has the advantages listed above. GroupMe, however, conveys an ease and joy that emails simply do not. With an email, notifying someone that you got information is a sentence and send away.
With GroupMe, it’s merely a click, allowing a simple smashing of the like button to convey all of the info you need.
Additionally, GroupMe has options that make conveying information joyous, with gifs, emojis and polls all at one’s disposal. Sure, there are ways to get all of these with email as well, but they require much more effort than the intuitive layout of GroupMe.
While the occasional GroupMe can get out of hand, for me, the app represents the essence of the collegiate communication experience perfectly. I am grateful every day for the ease the app has provided me, and I encourage everyone to take a minute to appreciate the wonder that is effortless mass communication.
Email Anthony Madalone at firstname.lastname@example.org.