How To Tell If Someone Read Your GroupMe

Want to know if your message has been read? Sent a DM and want to know if the other person has seen it yet? Can you even tell if someone read your GroupMe? Let’s find out!

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GroupMe is a very cool idea. A messaging platform specifically for groups that gives everyone the freedom and the tools to express themselves however they like. It’s a bit like a much less formal version of Slack and works very well. It is popular with individuals and with businesses looking for an easy way to communicate and collaborate.

GroupMe does bring the usual group dynamics and anxieties with it though. Read receipts feed into that. First I’m going to cover how to tell if someone read your GroupMe or even if you can tell and then discuss why read receipts aren’t necessarily a good thing.

Read receipts in GroupMe

First the bad news. GroupMe doesn’t have read receipts for group chats. There is usually too much going on and they bring too much angst for them to be included within the standard group chat function. Direct Messages do have read receipts though.

For standard group chats, the only way you’ll know if someone has read your GroupMe message is if/when they reply or react to it. There is no mechanism for tracking reads within a group.

There is for Direct Messages though.

You can send a DM in GroupMe like this:

  1. Select Contacts from within the GroupMe app.
  2. Select the contact you want to DM.
  3. Type the message and hit Send.

You can also send a DM from within another conversation.

  1. Select the group avatar at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Members and then select the person you want to message.
  3. Select Direct Message.
  4. Type the message and then send.

You will see the message status in the DM window and should be able to see when it is read. The notifications is in small type underneath the message you sent by the timestamp.

Read receipts and their effects

Read receipts are surprisingly unpopular. I came across a lot of research when preparing this piece on how they are disliked and negatively impact the enjoyment of a particular platform. I was both surprised and not surprised at the number of people who don’t use or don’t like using read receipts on any app, including GroupMe.

Some people regard it as emotional manipulation. This piece goes into the manipulation aspect in detail:

“The science of reading receipts can generate endless drama. If someone never sends back a receipt, then you can assume that he or she has disabled the setting. Does that mean they’re hiding something? Or perhaps they just want to preserve some privacy from you. Sometimes you’ll send a text to someone, get no response, and then see a notification show up hours or even days later. That is bound to send you down into a pit of despair. You’ll start to over-analyze every letter in your outgoing message. What could you have changed or rewritten in order to get the person to read it right away?”

The guys over at Medium did an unscientific test with read receipts and found they generated anxiety in senders and for receivers and were not a power for good.

“Interview participants discussed an opened message symbol creating “social anxiety,” “speculation,” and even “fear” when they are waiting for a response. In our survey the largest number of respondents choose that feeling ignored (35%) as best representing how they feel when a message has been marked read and not responded to.”

Medium also found that people avoided using the read receipt mechanism as much as possible.

“Respondents across the board employed strategies to avoid showing that they had read messages, such as marking messages as unread and reading snippets on lock screen in order to “pretend that I didn’t see it.” 82% of survey respondents reported avoiding opening messages so not to mark them as read.”

While you may complain that apps such as GroupMe don’t use read receipts, that might be a good thing. That’s especially true in a work setting where a boss or manager may be monitoring chats and want to see who responds and who doesn’t. Our lives are stressful enough without adding to it with simply systems like read receipts.

In that Medium survey, they found the vast majority of respondents didn’t like the system and very few, only 12% didn’t care about them. Given that chat apps are designed to make our lives easier and more rich, the system of message receipts seems to work against that.

What do you think? Do you like read receipts? Use them much? Tell us about your experience below!