Inside the World’s Biggest Group Chat
At this very moment, someone is taking their last breath. So I know I should be getting around to cutting off all my distractions and detractors, and finally achieve the dreams I’ve been putting off.
But when someone asks if you’d like to be looped into the world’s biggest group chat, what are you—at least the curious and masochistic side of you—going to do, say no?
I will tell you of the biggest group chat in the world, because I was in there. I was in it. It was terrible and beautiful and anything you want to say about it, it was. Everything that could be said—or will ever be said—was said there, like that infinite monkey~typewriter theorem—except what we produced was far from Shakespeare.
SMS historians will say I’m a liar…but history is written by those who have endured an inescapable, 720,000-member cult.
A Brief History of The World’s Biggest Group Chat
The world’s biggest group chat had humble enough beginnings: in late 2014, eight football buddies in or around Glens Fall, NY—who simply wanted to keep in touch after high school—added each other’s phone numbers, one by one.
When the gang was all there, they reminisced for a half-hour, sent along some pictures of their crotch trophies and office views. Then they went back to their rote, white bread lives.
Subsequently, the world’s biggest group chat went dormant for nearly two years.
And it would have stayed that way too. Until a low-tier shitposter known only as “Mackey,” day-drunk and not thinking, decided to loop in some coworkers from the hedge fund where he worked.
Late last year, in an interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, Mackey (will you believe me when I tell you there was kindness in his heart?) admitted he reignited the chat to “kind of screw with my old high school buddies because they had completely ghosted me the summer prior.”
By Mackey’s inebriated hand, the group chat’s membership increased to 13—by all means a sizeable chat for most casual texters, perhaps even skirting the boundaries of too-much-to-handle—but nothing in comparison to what the world’s biggest group chat was capable of.
Interestingly, even at this early psychosocial stage of the world’s biggest group chat’s life, it already contained all personality archetypes typically found in any androcentric group chat:
- the guy who admonishes the other members in all caps, e.g. GET ME OUT OF THIS BULLSHIT IM AT WORK
- the guy who’s always dark, but stays up-to-the-minute with what everyone is saying
- the guy who makes vaguely bigoted comments and veiled threats
- the guy who nobody knows who he is, responds only in gifs
- the self-published author
- the guy who believes in hollow earth
- the guy whose [insert family member] has just died
- the guy who holds the chat hostage by refusing to abandon the Android platform
- the guy who is bottom-of-the-totem-pole, the chat punching bag, the lightning rod of roasts
- the dropper of dank/crispy memes, is involuntarily celibate
- the fake catholic who posts low-res porn nobody asked for
- the guy who volunteers at children’s hospitals, dimly related to the fake catholic
- the stay-in-bed dad—terrible in the chat but pleasant/quiet in person
With this ensemble, the world’s biggest group chat carried on miserably, more or less, as well as it could, when it wanted to. Chemtrails, alt-right politics, and humble brags were the topics of the day [how fangless compared to what was to come!].
Then one unseasonably cold September morning, everything changed: the chat, through a series of leaks, discovered one of their very own was second cousins with one Elon Musk.
Youre kidding me dude, Mackey texts, in uncharacteristic zeal. Elon Musk? We’re bringing him into the chat, now.
No way, Elon Musk’s second cousin responds feverishly. He’s super busy. He has no time for a group chat. He’ll get pissed.
Busy with what?
Yeah whats he “working on”
Ill sign any NDA you put in front of me!!!
After fifteen hours of this, the second cousin of Elon Musk finally caved, and tested the waters by getting Elon drunk at Applebee’s and then casually mentioning he was in this sort of group chat thing that was affirming his life.
Elon could not have appeared more uninterested, until his second cousin lied that the chat was a think tank of sorts, full of visionaries and angel investors.
“Say no more,” Elon said. “You don’t have to twist my arm.”
Consider it done, Elon’s second cousin told the chat under the table.
Later, while sobering up in his idling Tesla, Elon, at last, joins.
Here is an artist’s rendering of the initial transcript, from Elon’s point of view:
Deep into the night, the chat pressed him, would not yield (provoking a flurry of pleading private messages from the second cousin). Some even wondered if this guy was really Elon Musk. Then, at 1:16 AM, Elon responded with a selfie of himself in front of a laptop. On the screen: a picture of the group chat via iMessage, and off to the left, something half-covered by a tarp.
This, of course, set off an all-night debate over the contents under said tarp, before Mackey eloquently concluded: who cares. Prob gonna explode anyway like all his other inventions.
Painted into a corner, Elon went dark, just twelve hours after he made his chat debut.
But six weeks later, drunk on the elation of completing a project many in the group chat deemed impossible, Elon looped in his good friend, the actor Edward Norton.
Ed, although affable, completely disappointed his fans (3/14 of the chat) as, it was agreed, he was cagey, dodged questions, and generally brought a dark energy to the chat. Reading his texts, one felt as if they were reading something they should not be, as if something or someone was peering at them from behind the words.
Little did the group chat know, their aversion to Edward Norton would be the last thing they would all agree on. In time, when the chat had ballooned to 846 members, alliances would form, sub- and meta-chats would materialize, and one member would be found dead floating in a sauna in a failing Planet Fitness.
But before all that, the group chat could only agree: Edward Norton was a minus, not a plus. About the only useful thing he ever did was to loop in Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.
Thom Yorke was an unusual addition, even by chat standards. For weeks he would stay silent, only to unleash an onslaught of cryptic texts, one after the other (e.g. “these_are my twisted wrds,” or “unfit for offic”). Once, he spammed the phrase “on raindrops” forty-seven times.
Being that Thom and Edward and Elon were all politically-minded back then, it was only a matter of time before one thing lead to another, and senators, congressmen, and local representatives flooded the chat, along with their constituents and drug dealers.
Before long, the group chat swelled to a staggering 21,625 members.
Statistics being what they are, 661 of these members no longer had the same phone number, 98 were caught up in the legal system for low-level offenses, and three achieved measurable benefits from a Keto diet.
Meanwhile, some were starting to admit to themselves that the chat was actually uninspiring, grating, and deflating…a complete waste of time…but nobody had the guts to say it, not in the world’s biggest chat, the only chat that mattered.
In retrospect, it’s not hard to understand why so many of the OG members found the current iteration of the chat so awful, as it had became the floor for politician’s electioneering and mud-slinging.
Barack Obama was looped into the chat on a day lost to history, at which point the dynamic changed. Not for the worse, not for the better. It just changed. With so many members, the chat moved too quickly now to settle the eye on any specific line, therefore much of Barack’s points were lost in the endless vertical acceleration.
If you need to know, Barack just pushed some thoughtful rhetoric and then tried to excuse himself, claiming he had “bigger fish to fry,” but every time someone argued with him, Barack would loop in a representative to handle the matter on his behalf, but every time the representative tried to get a word in, they would loop in their own representative to handle the matter on their behalf, and so on for infinity.
In this manner, as everyone knows, 1/1,000th of the world’s population was in the group chat.
The world’s biggest chat became a cultural phenomenon, and then a spiritual one. It was the topic of all first dates. Everyone claimed to be in the chat, though everyone knew that wasn’t possible, statistically speaking. Those not in the chat secretly carried a brand of repentance, were eventually weeded out, tested about the current affairs and memes, or corralled into caged townships where they grew gaunt and empty-eyed, encircled by armed men who slipped them rations through slots.
Cell phone repair shops could be found on every street corner, and yet the industry remained backlogged as phones the world over burned and exploded from endless vibration.
Mackey, who just three years prior had started this whole mess, disappeared from the spotlight. He drank ayahuasca with a Peruvian mystic to find answers. Propped up behind a beaded curtain, too comatose to swat the mosquitoes that sucked the blood from his cheeks, he had an epiphany: being the chat’s progenitor, it was his duty, and his alone, to dismantle it once and for all—and like burning a zombie—make sure it never came back.
To that end, when Mackey returned to Glens Falls, he called Verizon.
“Listen, I’m in this group chat. Maybe you heard of it. Yes, THAT group chat. I need to get out of it.”
“I’m sorry…there’s nothing we can do.”
“The POTUS is in there now, surely there’s something that can be done.”
“Lemme pose a scenario to you, OK? The whole world gets in this group chat…”
“…The POPE gets in this group chat. You’re still telling me there’s nothing that can be done?”
“Have you tried toggling airplane mode?”
“Elon Musk just froze himself and flew solo inside of a rocket at 51,000 MPH towards the rings of Saturn, and I can’t get out of a group chat.”
“Does anyone in the chat have an Android?”
Mackey thought about that for awhile. “Yes. I believe there are a few assholes.”
“Well then I’m sorry…”
“There’s nothing we can do,” they said, simultaneously.