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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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11. That’s when you know.

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

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

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14. Is it because you love the drama?

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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?

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

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

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

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

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

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