whatsapp and group chat golden rules

When dealing with large groups, practicing good etiquette is always a good idea. While WhatsApp and other group chat methods are convenient ways to distribute information quickly, they can also become overwhelming and cause people to leave or tune out important messages. Here are some helpful tips to keep your group chat running smoothly. 

*It’s recommended that a chat admin posts these (or other) guidelines to help everyone know what to expect.

Do’s and Dont’s:

  • Stay on topic and avoid sharing irrelevant messages. 
  • Think before you post, and avoid responding hastily. Consider sleeping on it.
  • Check if the information is available online before posting. Use the chat to ask questions that cannot be found online or by contacting the school or business directly.
  • Avoid spamming the group. If you want to share memes, business promos, family pictures, etc., create another chat specifically for that purpose and invite others to join.
  • Post your message in one single chunk of text, and do not repost the same information multiple times.
  • Avoid responding with separate thumbs up, prayer hands, “done,” and checkmarks. If there is a call to action, assume everyone in the group is participating and only respond if necessary. Consider just liking the message if warranted rather than writing comments, checkmarks, etc. Remember, every reply is potentially a “ding” on someone’s phone.
  • Avoid one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages.
  • Refrain from posting in the group between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM, except in emergencies.
  • When someone asks for a positive response like an RSVP, only reply if you can attend. If you cannot attend, do not respond.
  • If someone asks a question to the group and you do not know the answer, do not respond with “I don’t know.” Wait for someone who knows the answer to reply.
  • Avoid sending a hundred “thank you” messages. If you want to express gratitude, tell the person in a private message. This is also when “liking” or “hearting” the message would be appropriate.
  • If someone asks a question, do not respond if someone else has already answered, or respond directly to the person in a private message if you have pertinent information to add.
  • Avoid using the group as a political platform. Do not argue, express heated opinions, or spread fear-mongering or fake news. Verify sources before sharing.
  • Never use the group to berate someone or air grievances. Address the relevant person separately.
  • Do not criticize the company, school, or group leader. The chat was not created for this purpose, and it can cause trouble. Take grievances to the proper channels or discuss them with friends.

Before posting, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is this relevant and on topic?
  2. Is this information necessary for hundreds of people in the chat right now?
  3. Is this a good time to post?

Follow these guidelines to ensure you are not nuisance in your chat. Respecting each other’s time will keep the chat a happy and positive place for everyone.