Slack and Discord came up to provide a chatting platform and have now evolved into a community platform. People thought it was a blessing in disguise, but did it serve to be a blessing in the long run? People have started making conversations on online chat spaces like Slack and Discord. These are online platforms that make people come together and communicate easily. People choose these apps to converse with each other and to build communities. Now that this has been quite popular and prevalent around the world, there is a need to find out if these are actually serving the purpose a community has?

I was fortunate to get my eyes on a really interesting tweet thread that gave out genuine reasons that can be barriers that stop people from participating in a chat space.

Rosie Sherry, a community enthusiast, posted a tweet asking, what stops you from participating in chat spaces. knowing that people have felt the same way I felt made me feel comfortable.

A picture of Rosie Sherry's tweet
A picture of Rosie Sherry's tweet 

Chat spaces were created to communicate and if there’s something that is stopping people from doing that, we community builders should know about it.

What stops people from participating in chat space? - The pain points we go through

It’s not that people find conversing itself hard, it’s just that a few barriers make the process of conversing hard, especially when it’s online. And I as a person have felt at least 5 of these pain points which have stopped me from chatting in online spaces, and they are,

  • The pressure of saying something valuable
  • Lots of people make the place overwhelming
  • Thousands of notifications push people to mute them, which in the long run makes people miss out on conversations
  • When the group has people who know each other, it makes the other person feel odd to take part.
  • People feel no sound reason to stay and chat
  • When the number of channels is high, people feel lost
  • It is hard for people to come together at the same time
  • Extensive self-promotion makes the space pointless

The above-mentioned reasons make people miss out on the conversation that’s happening or make it hard for them to stay on track with it. Were you able to resonate with any of these barriers? Or maybe if you have felt anything different that has stopped you from participating in a chat space, share those with us to help us figure things out better.

Chatting software reminds me of small and quick chats, but communities don’t remind me of these characters and that is why I’m not able to resonate with these two ideas. But we can still extract something amazing from this software if a chat space could create an environment where people who converse, feel belong, absence of pressure, and when the number of content, notification, and the number of people are not overwhelming, then a chat space can be successful and can curate valuable content and relationships. But I doubt chat spaces can do that better than an actual community.

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