Remember conference calls? About 15 years ago, my friends and I learned how to use the three-way calling feature on our house phones and from then on, no conversation consisted of just two of us. We managed to dish about everything happening in our 9 year old lives that we didn’t get to talk about at recess or lunch. As we got older, our forms of communication evolved from conference calls to AIM chat rooms. It was still an all inclusive way of communicating with everyone at one time. Today, AIM and three-way calling have been replaced by the elusive group chat (GC). Everybody is apart of one, whether you want to be or not. The GC is inescapable. Once you’re down, you’re down for life (or until you change your phone number). And like many things, GCs are thought to vary in nature depending on the sex of those running ’em. My twitter’s timeline has touched on the topic of what goes on in a GC run my women vs what goes on in one run by men. And although the universal rule of the GC is similar to that of Las Vegas’s slogan, I’ve decided to share with you some of the things that do happen in my own group chat and what I imagine in others run by women.
1. WE SHADE
The Urban Dictionary defines shade as acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone or dissing a friend. I can speak for my own GC and probably many others by saying that there is plenty of shade present in our conversations. Palm tree emojis grow tall and strong amongst those blue and grey bubbles. However, contrary to popular belief that all women are malicious and catty, much of the shade is playful. It’s sort of like playing the dozens but instead of “yo mama” jokes, it’s quick witted retorts about that tragic weave you had back in high school. It’s a sass-fest and its fun! If you’re in a GC with your real friends, you know it’s not personal. Yes, sometimes our shade isn’t innocent or playful and we do drop the dreaded screenshot here and there. But keep in mind that with all shade, comes a lesson to be learned. If you fear you may fall victim to the screenshot, then maybe you should reconsider whom you’re sharing things with. Some women know what lines not to cross and what things to keep to ourselves while others have no code of conduct. It’s all about making a judgment call.
2. WE SEND EACH OTHER SELFIES
This one is pretty basic. Sometimes we have days when we just feel fine as hell. Maybe we got a new lipstick. Maybe we tried something different with our hair and it looks like the angel Gabriel laid hands on our tresses. Or maybe we just got our eyebrows done and they are ON POINT! Whatever the reason we’re feeling ourselves at that moment, we just grab our phones, turn on that front camera and have a mini photoshoot. But sometimes we want to share our flawlessness but not with our twitter or IG followers. I know I have this complex where I don’t want to seem too narcissistic by dropping 15 selfies on my TL. So what do I do? I send a few to my GC. We fawn over and flirt with each other because its fun and it makes us feel good. Sometimes you wanna hear that you’re working that up-do and you know that nobody can handle the regal-ness of that ponytail like your GC can.
3. WE TALK ABOUT SEX
Of course we talk about sex! Who doesn’t? Women have and enjoy sex just like men do. So why wouldn’t it be a hot topic in our GCs? No person’s sex life or sexuality is identical to another’s. We ask questions, swap stories and dish out advice the best we can. It’s not pure filth but it gets pretty authentic. This isn’t the place to sugar coat shit. If one of my GC members has the strong urge to give a serious BJ but has no one to service, she can come to the GC and vent. If another wants to share with us the time she had sex in Central Park and how much fun it was, we’re all ears (or eyes) and ready to hear/read all about it. And if someone has questions about this new obsession everyone seems to have with analingus, at least one of the other members will have the knowledge. The GC is supposed to be a judgement free zone. Its place where we can let our inner freak flags fly freely. As long as you’re happy, considerate of others and responsible, we support all quests for an orgasm.
4. WE READ
I don’t mean reading in the book sense on this one (although we do have the occasional sharing of reading lists). Reading is telling someone about herself. Real friends will read you! Like I said before, the GC is a judgement free zone. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that we let our friends walk around being ain’t shit individuals without calling em out on it and ignoring questionable behavior. Sometimes you need your friends to tell you when you’re being an asshole. When I’m making poor decisions, my GC will call me out on my bullshit and let me know when I’ve got to reevaluate some things. It’s all out of love.
5. WE DISCUSS
Whether its dieting, new fashion trends, music, or concerns about the current state of our economy and how it affects us, we discuss things. Yeah, we touch on topics like which shade of nail polish should be chosen for next week’s mani/pedi session. But it doesn’t end there. On one occasion we went from mascara to a lesson on different breeds and strands of bacteria found in a bio-chem lab. It’s not strictly “girly” stuff. And even though I put my phone down when sports come up, the conversation continues. We just talk about it all.
6. WE SUPPORT
When something amazing or not so amazing happens, my GC is usually the first to hear the news. As a writer, my notebook holds most of my secrets, fears, hopes, dreams and ideas. But those pages can’t talk back and sometimes I need a few words of encouragement. A pep talk is needed every now and then when you’re feeling hopeless about the direction in which your life is headed. Sometimes you need to be praised for landing the job you’ve been wanting. Sometimes you just want someone to listen and reassure you that she understands where you’re coming from. A good GC serves for all of these things because a good GC is made up of good friends. We laugh together. We cry together. We do our best to make sure that everyone feels loved and knows that she has someone that’s got her back.