How Gchat Controls Your Life

What is it about those little boxes that makes you feel so confessional?

1. Using your personal Gmail at work is a storied, benevolent tradition.

2. First, you sign into Gchat. There are SO MANY people you could talk to!

3. You see your crush/recent ex online, and you KNOW they see you. So why aren’t they IMing you???

4. You stare at your chat bar wondering who’s going to IM who first.

5. In the meantime, you pick one person (or seven people) to talk to, and you Gchat them to say “hey.”

6. Before you know it, you and the person you’re talking to are in DEEP.

7. All of a sudden, you’re sharing secrets!! Like, BIG secrets.

8. At first it’s thrilling, because maybe the other person confesses something to you too.

9. But pretty quickly you wish you hadn’t said anything at all.

10. Because that other person didn’t respond the right way or WENT IDLE.

11. That’s when you know.

12. But you’ll do the same thing tomorrow, basically, won’t you?

13. Why?? Is it because all the little boxes look the same and it just seems like you’re telling SOMEone?

14. Is it because you love the drama?

15. Does the fact that you’re on your personal email while at work amp up the “clandestineness” of it and encourage you to share more?

16. Or is it just the good old-fashioned comfort of the anonymity of the computer screen?

17. Whatever it is, you can’t stop, can you?

18. You can try to stay off Gchat, but it won’t work. You’ll always see that little dot.

19. Tomorrow morning you’re going to do it all over again. Just like everyone else.

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Editor, Ghost Hunter, Ufologist
Contact Katie Heaney at
Deputy Editorial Director, BuzzFeed San Francisco
Contact Jessica Misener at
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