Thank God For Group Chats
Group Chats are like digital bible studies that you have with your girlfriends. The group chat is a sacred space where you can vent, gossip about your new boo, get fashion tips, and share secrets. It is probably one of the only places in the universe where you won't be judged for anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid supporter of therapy and strongly suggest people go if they are struggling and even if they aren't, but there is something about being in a group with like-minded people that can lift your spirits after a bad day.
Last year at BET's "Black Girls Rock," Solange was honored for her impact on both the music industry and for staying true to herself. In her speech, she thanked her group chats because she could always count on them to tell her the truth. I was somewhat surprised but also in awe. Can you imagine what a group chat would be like with Solange, Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle? CHILE. What do they talk about? Do they make jokes like we do? I wonder if Beyoncé uses GIFs to clown her friends. While that moment in her speech could have been brushed over by most people, it was significant for me. Solange clearly values the authenticity and beauty of group chats the same way I do, and I felt seen and heard.
I have several group chats that serve different purposes. Some of them are to discus specific television shows and others are for specific group events or things that everybody might not be interested in. There are two groups that I consult everyday though (names omitted to protect the innocent). The group chat that I participate the most in was coincidentally started because we got fed up with a few men in another group group. Imagine a clash between Lemonade supporters and the Dirty Sprite community. Enuf said.
Group chats give you the ability to ask questions about important decisions—whether it's about a new bae, vacation spot, or a new outfit. While I might think this hot pick lipstick might be cute, I consult the group chat before I wear it out. I can always count on that one friend to be like "Ma'am, you knew that lipstick was wrong before you bought it." You need that honesty in your life.
What is so beautiful about our group chat is not only the sharing, but we also aren't afraid to be honest with one another. Group chats aren't always sunshine and roses. There have been several times where we've argued, said shady and petty things, or just haven't been as nice as we should. We've experienced group member departures, some that are temporary and some that are permanent. As our friendship ans loyalties to one another have strengthened, the ups and downs of any relationship has accompanied it. Is it a true group chat if you don't argue with one another every once in a while? It happens, but we manage to find our way back to a peaceful place.
I asked the women in my group chat what they love most about our conversations and how we benefit from them. Here were some of their answers:
"I can keep up with folks better. I can be very anti-social"
"I'm notoriously bad at keeping up with friends, no matter how much I care about them. Group chats make it easier for me to keep up with folks"
"It helps to bridge gaps. We don't all live in the same place so it's nice to be a able to feel close to you day to day in spite of distance"
"It's a good sounding board. A place where I can bounce ideas and questions and get a wide array of opinions without being public"
"Sometimes, y'all are better than Google when I want an experience based answer"
"A great way to share life updates at once. I also love keeping up with ya'll"
" THE MEMES"
What I appreciate the most about my group chats is that we are always there for one another. When someone is having a hard time, you can always count on them for loads of encouragement and support. You're allowed to cry, be angry, and be authentically you. As someone who tends to be guarded with people, I've found genuine beauty in these friendships. These women have literally become my sisters.
For those of you that have a steady group chat, how has It been beneficial for you? Tell us in the comments.