500 Words On GroupMe

500 Words On GroupMe

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Have you ever woken up to a screen full of GroupMe notifications? Or have had moments where an incessant stream of GIFs, insults and “Case is lit” messages cause you to bang your head against a wall? Well, welcome to the dark downside of GroupMe.

Created in 2010 by Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci, GroupMe was initially designed as an app that could allow for group messaging across different smartphones. At Colgate, people use the app for a multitude of things, generally improving communication between students. However, GroupMe chats can often be irksome when they have 50 or more members. When used to relay important information, these large groups are not ideal. Many people who have the chats muted, or scroll through constant spam, often miss important events or updates club leaders are trying to relay to them. This begs the question: is GroupMe beneficial, or is it merely an annoyance?

I first learned about GroupMe during my freshman year at Colgate, in the fall of 2012. A friend of mine who did not have a iPhone used the app to link us together. I enjoyed the app so much that I created a GroupMe with my friends from home and it was a great way for all of us to keep in touch. Within months, however, GroupMe exploded. People used it for a great variety of different things from club E-Boards to group projects.

As of right now, I am in 42 different GroupMe chats. Of those 42, about 12 are still active. I also have two chats muted. The other 30 chats are obsolete and inactive. Messages haven’t been posted in them for months, and in some cases, years. For example, I am in a chat called “National Security Project.” The last message was sent in April 2014 and its purpose concluded after we earned a B+ for presenting a US response to Russian action in the Ukraine.

For some strange reason, I have yet to delete this chat and several other inactive chats.

Why?

I think I remain in some chats in part due to the dreaded millennial disease known as “FOMO,” or “Fear of missing out.” I never know when one of those chats will again become active and reconnect me with old friends.

In another sense, I am still a member of these inactive chats because scrolling through their old messages and picture galleries, allows me to relive old moments. Some of these pictures are incredibly funny (if anyone reading this plays ultimate Frisbee with me, you know what pictures I’m writing about).

These vestigial GroupMe chats serve as a sort of digital catalog of my college life. Every friend I’ve made in college is in at least one of these chats. Their image galleries are the archives of my past. In twenty years, someone could look at these GroupMes and learn much about who I was.

GroupMe allows us to connect and communicate quickly. I’m in a chat for this very publication and our Editor-in-Chief uses it as her primary way of organizing meetings and passing messages down to the rest of the staff. I don’t think GroupMe will ever replace email or texts, but it is a tool uniquely suited for the American millennial. So, the next time you wake up to 100 notifications, just realize that you’re making digital history.

Cover Image Credit: http://microsoft-news.com/microsoft-updates-groupme-ios-app-with-calendar-integration-ability-to-mention-people-in-chats-and-more/

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My First Year Of College Wasn’t Great And That’s Okay

I didn’t adjust as well as I thought I would, but I made it.

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Everyone always raves about how much they loved their freshman year of college. The independence, the parties, meeting all these new people from different places. It's a big milestone in your life. But not everyone has an amazing first year. And I'm one of those people.

Don't get me wrong. I was so excited about college. Finally getting to be on my own, experiencing all these new things. I even met people in my class before we moved in. And the first month was a blast...but then it wasn't anymore.

Eventually, I slid into this “funk", you could say. I was depressed. I never wanted to leave my bed. Some nights, I didn't even wanna eat dinner. And soon, my friends noticed but soon just stopped inviting me out.

At first, they still would, even though the answer was always no. But I guess they got bored and tired of me always saying no.

Soon, I didn't feel like I even had any friends and at one point, I even found myself debating going home to avoid being alone in my room all weekend. I would force myself to make plans, but found myself not wanting to go out because I got ignored every time I did. It wasn't worth it.

I was homesick, isolated, and just wanted to fit in.

When the year finally came to an end, I couldn't be happier. But now that it is over and I'm home, I realize how much I miss the people that were there for me. The people that came into my life unexpectedly, but it was hard for me to really recognize they care about me.

I absolutely hated my freshman year of college. Yeah, it started out good and I found my sorority, but I never felt like I was wanted anywhere. I felt so alone. I became so incredibly isolated and distant and it took a drastic toll on me as a person.

But in spite of all that, I realize that maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Because I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all play out.

This being said, my first year might not have been what I thought or hoped for. But I can truly say I am excited to see what my next year holds.

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