AP English 12- Period 4
April 23, 2018
The Lessons We Learn from Group Chats
“WHERE’S THE COMPASS?!” one of my co-workers screamed across the room. ‘WE ONLY HAVE 16 MINUTES!” Don’t worry. The only thing in danger was my pride. It was a Friday evening in Downtown Phoenix. My lab colleagues and I had planned an evening of mystery at an “Escape the Room” center in Downtown Phoenix. So far, it had gone just as planned (minus the screaming). I was entirely focused on locating a compass “A quarter the size of [my] thumb”—if we solved the puzzle within the next 30 seconds, we would become the first team in the store’s history to complete the room. 25 seconds. Brows creased, sweat rolling down my cheek, a shining blur catches the corner of my eye. 15 seconds. I sprint towards the light, arms outstretched; I can taste victory on the tip of my tongue. It tastes like cookies and cream, and a Mexican pizza, and Thai spicy noodles—all deconstructed and reassembled into a glorious masterpiece, fit for only a bulletproof case sealed within the Louvre. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a movie. The shining glow that had drawn my attention was merely a reflection of the yellow bulb perched on the bookshelf across from where I was standing. Three seconds. It was all over.
I hated to lose. Looking around, however, all I witnessed were smiling faces. Laughter, even. How could they be so happy? Lost in the blues surrounding my recent defeat, I almost instinctively turned to blame. “Their carelessness is why we lost,” I irritably thought to myself. As it turned out, losing the challenge was the least of my worries. When I unlocked my phone to check the time, my disappoint immediately transformed into shock.
I’ve been made fun of before. Usually, my mother is the source of such provocations, but occasionally a close friend might curb my pride as well. This was something else entirely. I opened my phone to a blizzard of insults, all painstakingly directed towards me.
“Honey…. your opinion is NOT needed by anyone here…please keep it to yourself”
“Yeah Somil…why do you always hate on activities”
“If you don’t like it that’s your own problem…there’s no need to share your opinion”
“ROOOOASSSTEED!” The messages had all originated from the same group chat, and I recognized the names as some of my dearest friends. At first, I found the reaction slightly humorous. What could I have possibly said to vex four different people at once? As I scoured my brain in search of any phrases or controversial statemenst I may have accidentally uttered, tiny fragments of words and conversations started to assemble. Then, with the momentum of a Japanese bullet train, the three fatal words entered my thoughts: “Link crew...