Redundant Information

With its cheese-slicing function, this cheese-slicer slices your cheese smoothly!

With its cheese-slicing function, this cheese-slicer slices your cheese smoothly!

I am a person who tends to comment on things. Where I’m going, what I’m doing (although this might be obvious) – if not to other people, then even just to myself.

This has brought me critique and some jokes at my expense more than once. When working as a waitress, my colleagues would make fun of me by unnecessarily describing their actions verbally: “I clean this glass now under the running water, and then I put it here on the counter so that it dries, while I grab the next glass”- as a response to my announcement that I would go and use the ladies room now. I felt not taken seriously (well, I wasn’t) and wronged, had my only intention been to not disappear without a comment for several minutes (an important period of time in waiting on tables), letting them miss or, in the worst case, search for me!

I don’t think I am the only one with this problem – but since the invention (or should I say, increased usage?) of group chats, some people take it too far. Amusing your colleagues is one thing, people announcing unnecessary information in a group chat is just torture, I claim.

Imagine you get a message from a friend asking for a favor, and you see it is written very formally, and according to the greeting you do not seem to be the only recipient. You check the list of recipients, and indeed, there are around 68 other people besides you – what would you do? You might do him the favor. If you have a question and you think it is relevant for everyone and you might not be the only one noticing this unclarity, you could ask it in this group chat. If you have some other comment, you send him a private message.

new mails

875 new mails? That must surely be important stuff!

But why on earth would you start sending comments like “Done”, or “Alright!” or “Hey, nice to hear from you, such a long time, how have you been? Oh, and do you still have this DVD I lent you in 2009?”, starting a whole chain reaction by other, equally indifferent people (indifferent towards the time and nerves of other chat members, and the existence of a private-chat-option) uttering equally ignorant things in a group chat, for which the other 68 members get a notification every single time.

Furthermore, if it’s “done”, it’s pretty likely that the concerned person, namely the sender of the first message, has noticed it already. Why would you announce it like a proud 3-year-old after his first independent potty-visit? So that the other members get jealous of you because you were faster? Consider this group chat as an e-mail to various recipients. Would you send an email back with the “reply to all” function, announcing that this is a good idea, or that you have fulfilled your duty? Probably not. But the ease of clicking reply in a chat versus opening a new message solely for the sender might outweigh rational thoughts here.

Well, I say, don’t let them. Use your brain in times you interact with other people, especially if it is a whole bunch of them. Think about how your actions impact them – and ok, even if you would find it extremely pleasurable to get a shitload of notifications about unimportant things, there still might be those who don’t. Think twice, before you hit the reply-button next time!

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