New York Magazine

Group Chats Are Making the Internet Fun Again

The triumphant return of aimless digital chatter.

DEPENDING ON HOW you count, I’m in up to 18 active group chats, across a half-dozen different apps, that occupy most of my time on my phone. Right now, I’m in one called “Ramius’s Boys,” which is devoted to sharing quotes from the film The Hunt for Red October and submarine-related links; another called “News and Politics Discussion Group,” for arranging Mario Kart matches and, most important, talking shit; and a third, “No More Furry Nudes I Promise”—though, to be fair, that one probably shouldn’t be counted as “active,” because no one trusted the promise its creator made in the title. A friend told me she’s in a group chat dedicated to sharing photographs of Cobb salads called, naturally, “COBB COBB.”

In some ways, group chat feels like a

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