The 10 commandments of group chat etiquette everyone needs to follow.

Oh group chat – the home of many an unplanned event, Wordle scores, hilarious memes, nudie rudie sexts, passive aggressive comments, and the family hotline.

And if you’re anything like me, you will have a random group text set up with a few girls you met in the bathroom during a big night out. Mine occurred after I lent a girl a hair tie and listened to her friend cry about a guy she was currently dating.

It started like this: “You seem lovely, let’s organise cocktails” (said with far too much wine-induced enthusiasm) as we exchanged phone numbers and set up a group chat with the ridiculous name, 'Ladies Loo Cocktails'.

It even has a group pic to match – taken in the lady’s bathroom of course. That’s as far as the group chat went, but I hope you’re well, girls.

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If a psychologist were to look through my WhatsApp they would diagnose me as a horn bag with loose morals and a love of filthy jokes. 

Actually, note to self: give my best friend my phone password so she can delete EVERYTHING should something dastardly ever happen to me.


Here's a brief list of all the group chats I currently have going on:

Wine Club.

Made up of myself and my two fabulously gay friends. It started one Valentine’s Day when we chose to go watch 'Call Me By Your Name' at a local cinema that serves wine. What was a simple attempt to drown our single sorrows on the most romantic night of the year turned into an annual tradition we now organise via the app, as well as exchanging dialogue around the most recent RuPaul Drag Race episodes.

Mitchell Mafia.

This group is made up of myself and two other colleagues who all attended the same university. Originally called Mitchell College but now known as Charles Sturt University. Many people who went to this university now work in the media and are known as the Mitchell Mafia (including Andrew Denton, Jess Rowe, Samantha Armytage, etc). So, we turn to this WhatsApp group when we want to brainstorm a tricky work task or ask for some career advice. Couldn’t survive without this group!

So as you can see, it’s quite chaotic. On lonely nights I rely on these group chats to get me out of a funk and put a smile on my dial. But on busy days I try to avoid them like the plague. Will. Not. Be. Distracted.

Image: Supplied


So in a bid to sort out my life – and hopefully yours as well – I’ve put together a list of Group Chat commandments that should clear up the muck:

- Thou shall use it as an outlet to LOL with friends. Any memes involving puppies, sassy children, or pictures of Ryan Gosling with his shirt off are always permitted. Share the love.

- Thou shall remember your audience. The work group chat is not the place to share a dirty joke. (No matter how funny it may be!)

- Thou shall not send out birthday invites to a giant group of people – many of whom are strangers. Honestly, is there anything more annoying than getting a million notifications saying 'attending' or 'sorry, John and I will be in Italy'. Use Mailchimp people!


- Thou shall use it as a safe space with friends to share forewarnings of upcoming full-moons, Mercury in retrograde dates, and astrological advice from our favourite social media witches and wizards. Girls gotta know when to stock up on sage.

- Thou shall not clog the group chat with snore-inducing life updates, like how your Uncle Roger is doing post knee surgery. Don’t be a Boring Boris on the group chat. Note to self: perhaps people don’t need to see my Wordle score every day.

- Thou shall abide by the group's outline. School parents' group chats are for keeping track of homework and upcoming running carnivals. They are not an outlet to bitch about what Debbie wore to school pick up. 

- Thou shall dance like no one’s watching but text like it will be read out in court one day. Yep, that sassy message you just dropped in the group chat after someone had the audacity to decline your dinner invitation at the last minute is going to be screenshot and talked about amongst others in the group. Be nice with your words. (But good lord go to town on them with your bestie).

- Thou shall always check that at least one other person is available to attend an event before you throwing an invite out to the rest of the group. Kick it off with a 'Sally and I are buying tickets to Taylor Swift – who else wants to come?' According to this TikTok more people are likely to say yes!


- Thou shall use the mute button like it’s going out of fashion. When the group text is going off, it’s so easy to get distracted. Put the phone down and focus on your damn deadline Jana Hocking! That juicy bit of gossip will still be there in an hour.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, On this episode, what happens when the group chat gets too heated? Is there a graceful way to 'flounce'? Story continues below.

- Thou shall not leave a group chat without giving an explanation. Sure, you may have been unintentionally invited into your cousin’s book group and you would rather do jury duty than be stuck reading any more of their boring messages – but give an excuse (white lies perfectly acceptable) as opposed to leaving a 'Jana Hocking has left the group' notification. Brutal. Just brutal.

- And last but not least… thou shall not add people to a group chat who have never met in real life. I have a friend (you know who you are!) who is a shocker for consistently including new people she’s just met into already established WhatsApp groups. They feel awkward. We feel awkward. It’s a total awks-fest!

Hopefully my tried and tested etiquette guidelines will help you have a merrier group chat experience. Please feel free to use them in any form of group chat – Whatsapp, Instagram or  even Facebook (is anyone still using Facebook?). Let’s clean up our inboxes - but keep the hilariously dirty memes coming.

Feature Image: Supplied

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