“I’ve never been held hostage, but I have been on a group text.”
If you own a smartphone, I’m sure that rings true for you. And if it doesn’t, then I’m terribly sorry that you were held hostage at some point in your life. I hope that’s not still going on!
I, unfortunately, have found the fourth level of group text hell. I am currently on a GroupMe with the seventh- and eighth-grade flag football teams. Not the parents. The actual seventh- and eighth-graders.
Like his brothers before him, Son Number Three won’t get a cell phones until high school, but I’m pretty sure every other kid on both teams has a phone and is on the GroupMe. The coach is young enough that he just set up the GroupMe and added the kids. I’m not even sure he was planning to communicate at all with the parents. For the first week of practice, I had no actual written or verbal proof that my son was even on the team.
I guess the coach is too young to realize that it used to be just the parents on the group communication, because we’re the ones that actually need to know the practice and game schedule.
Now, since all the kids have phones, they’re on, too. Here’s the first reason why that’s dumb: the parents still need to be on, because the last person you can trust to relay information correctly is an eighth-grade boy. My son cannot accurately explain to me a single solitary event of his entire day.
The second reason it’s dumb is that now the coach and whatever parents are unfortunate enough to be on the chat are stuck there with forty middle schoolers.
Allow me to illustrate the situation with a recent text string:
Coach: Our game this Thursday the 2nd is an away game. Please arrive at Johnson Middle School by 3:30pm for our 4:00 game time. Remember to wear your red away jersey.
Player 1: cool who are we playing
Player 2: johnson idiot
Player 3: hahaha
Player 4: ok
Player 4: are we home or away?
Player 1: coach said red jersey so were home
Player 2: we are away dude we are only home when we playat our field idiot
Player 4: So white jersey?
Player 3: white jersey is home coach said red for away
Player 2: ya
Player 5: yep
Player 4: ok what time is the game? i need to find a ride. my mom is working i think
Player 1: the game is at 3:30 idiot you have to read coachs text
Player 2: the game is at 4 idiot we have to be their at 330 you have to learn to read hahahaha
Player 5: cool
Player 6: ok
Player 7: coach I dont want to play center I want to play a catching position I can catch you just have to see me
Player 2: dude you cant catch
Player 7: shut up
Player 4: hahahaha
Player 8: coach am I allowed to play in the game if I haven’t been to practice because I was sick but im not sick anymore?
Player 1: ya you should come. you can play
Player 9: What time is the game? who we playin?
[And on and on for another 24 texts]
Parent who didn’t start at the top of the 48-text string: Hi Coach, can you let us know the location and arrival time for this Thursday’s game, please?
Me on the couch listening to my phone beep like it’s a bomb about to go off: *just shoot me*
I’m starting to think it might be less of a headache if I just gave Son Number Three a cell phone and the car keys. Being off this GroupMe would probably be worth it.
I mean, he’s already thirteen. What could go wrong?
See you soon,
Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen
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