On a Monday, at 5:47 pm: At first I thought, amazing, “genial”! From now on, I should no longer be the last one to find out what is happening in “this group,” as it usually happens. There were exactly 7 minutes of excitement about “this group.” Three minutes later, and after 20 messages, some of them with long voice messages, I was having second thoughts.
At 11:50 pm, after reading, hearing and laughing at more than 100 messages, I knew my phone’s battery would suffer “this group.” At 3:17 am, “this group”had already turned into a nightmare that woke me up with a blinking blue light and a buzzing sound at 6:15 am, on the only day of the week I did not have to get up so early.
I am hoping this is only the “fever”and excitement of being recently connected as “this group.” I am hoping with all my might that “this group’s”enthusiasm wears out shortly. But I have the sad suspicion that this will not be the case. The personalities of the members of “this group” will not allow for rest. After all, we do have the same purpose, to educate our communities, and that is not a 9-5 job, it is a 24/7 commitment.
Under normal circumstances, and if this were a “casual” group, I would simply ask to be excluded. I have done it before without care nor remorse. And though doing so has made me look as non-grata persona in those groups, my decision to either leave those groups or ask politely to be removed has brought me peace, needed time for concentration for both personal and professional situations, and tons of relief to my phone ringing tone.
However, this time, it’s impossible to say what I want to say in “this group” or to ask to be removed. The truth is that most of the members of “this group” loose focus immediately, they deviate from the topics that should be discussed and rarely have the answer to the question that started the conversation in the first place. Instead they answer with a mix of a gazillion irrelevant topics.
Most of the time, while I read the messages, I chuckle. But many times, I just want to scream because I am busy working on so many other things. I am putting my daughter to bed, making diner or simply trying to relax.
So here I am, seeing the flying eraser coming toward me, and choosing not to fully engage or to say the least possible so I don’t sound rude. I believe for “this group” saying what I must, needs to be limited so I can maintain good relations with “this group.” It is after all, the polite thing to do.
At the same time, I see an opportunity to exercise tolerance, patience and to remember that we all crave communication with others. Even if sometimes we don’t choose the right place or time to say what is in our mind, and even if what we have to say makes absolutely no sense in the context we sometimes choose to say it or with the groups we interact.
Now, and as a result of the overload of text messages from “this group” I have scheduled my work phone to be turned to silent mode at 5:00 pm and to be disconnected (airplane mode) at exactly 7:00 pm. I had never done that before. But the few hours I have to rest and dedicate to my husband and daughter are sacred. The phone will be turned on again at 8:00 am the next morning.
Thanks for reading and think about using the airplane mode more often.