DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been in a group text for a few months now with my friends from college who are in different parts of the country. I used to think it was a fun way to keep checking in on each other -- until there were hundreds of messages each day from 10 women speaking to each other. I then turned the conversation on "Do Not Disturb," which means I do not get notifications anymore. I feel bad about not reading the group messages and missing something, but I can't devote 30 minutes each day to catching up on what everyone's said. This group text was originally supposed to be used sparingly, so if I made another group for important events, that would get bombarded with everyday happenings. I don't want to leave the group text, but I need to find some balance with this in my life. -- Too Many Messages, Washington, D.C.
DEAR TOO MANY MESSAGES: Be upfront with the folks in your group chat. Tell them on the chat that as much as you care about them, the volume of messages going back and forth is dizzying to you, so you have to step off. Tell them that if they need you, they should write to you directly. When you can, you will peruse the group chat, but it will be infrequent. If you need them, you will direct message them as well.
If they call you a party pooper, let them know you are sorry, but you have to do your job, and you just do not have time.