My life is being destroyed by the real-time messaging app, Slack.
When I was first introduced to Slack, I was told it would be a simple way to efficiently communicate with my co-workers during work hours. I was not, however, told that the addictive platform would soon creep into every aspect of my existence and ruin my life.
As the days and weeks passed, I came to realize something very important: Slack is my nightmare. The fast-paced environment gives me heart palpitations, the constant desktop and mobile notifications detract from my ability to enjoy the world around me, and the wide selection of custom emoji reactions is far too overwhelming to deal with — it's complete chaos. The worst part is, even though I loathe Slack ... I can't delete it. I couldn't work without it.
If this nightmarish tale sounds at all familiar, I've got news for you: Slack is ruining your life, too. If you're unable to admit that Slack is completely destroying you, I'm here to help. I've complied a painful list of signs that the app is undoubtedly ruining your life.
But first, for all the Slack lovers out there, let's get a few things out of the way. Yes, I am aware the app does have some positive qualities. Some might even argue that the majority of Slack's problems arise from self-sabotage or that Slack addiction is really no different from any other social media obsession. After all, there's a "Do Not Disturb" mode, you can mute channels, and you can set helpful away messages. Those are valid points, but they do not change the fact that I felt far more freedom and peace-of-mind in my life before I started using Slack.
With that said, I need to vent. Here are seven ways the messaging platform causes you grief.
1. Slack ~literally~ keeps you up at night
Image: jessye mcgarry/mashable
It's a common conundrum: You wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and the next thing you know, you're wide awake.
In the good old days you would have attempted to lull yourself back to sleep by mindlessly scrolling past Instagram posts of friends and composing a whiny "can't sleep" text which you thankfully decided to save to your Drafts folder. Eventually you would re-crash after managing to bat your heavy eyelids through a third of an episode of 30 Rock and that would be that.
But now, you have Slack. Sure it's 3:02 a.m. but international folks at your company are wide awake @here-ing.
Immediately after you return to your bed you snuggle under the covers, reach for your phone and find yourself going back in time to catch up on hours of Slack-tivity you missed out on while you were asleep. The messages are endless, the notifications are meaningless and have absolutely nothing to do with you, but for some horrible reason you can't stop reading. After you've wasted a good chunk of time diving deep into the Slack archives, you are far too stimulated to doze off again.
Instead, you lie awake for hours hating Slack.
2. You barely get any work done because Slack has become too distracting
Aside from your direct messages with co-workers, you're also getting notifications every five seconds from private channels, keyword alerts, and emoji reactions. Whole channels devolve into a personal chat between two people, and the rest of the company is taken along for the painful ride. Then there's that one obnoxious co-worker who discovered you have a Slack alert for "aliens" and has made it his sole purpose to overuse the word whenever possible just to spark a reaction.
update: slack is still distracting
too many people using @here
i miss IRC
need the minimalism
no need for GIFs in the workplace
— Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) May 5, 2017
How are you expected to be productive when people are incessantly @here-ing and very important alerts are going off in your private "Bachelor talk" and "This-Is-Us" channels?
And hey, if you think Slack is no different from the temptation to chat IRL with your nearby desk-mates, you're wrong. It's so much worse. Slack gives you the ability to chat with anyone at any time without even having to get up from your seat.
Your work ethic has dramatically decreased and your professional reputation is put at risk.
3. Slack is standing between you and a relaxing day off
Thanks to Slack you never truly have a day off. Sure, you might be physically out of the office, but I've discovered the whole point of the Slack mobile app is to ensure you never reaaaaaally leave work.
In the old days, sure, you'd obsess over checking your work e-mail, but Slack provides so much more information. It's a real-time display of nearly every conversation taking place in your office and you have the unique ability to follow along, even when you're not physically present.
On your day off, after rolling out of bed two hours later than you normally would have, the morning seems hopeful. But once you make yourself some breakfast and attempt to kick back and relax, you find yourself checking Slack. Has anyone mentioned you? Do your co-workers even care that you're not in their physical presence? Are you missing out on some hot office gossip? You need to know ...
"Just a quick look," you tell yourself before spending the next 17 minutes reviewing all your unread messages and making your presence known. It is a never-ending cycle.
4. You consider Slackbot one of your greatest rivals
You can't tell me there hasn't been a time when you haven't wanted to straight up brawl with Slackbot, but in all fairness Slack is not fully to blame for this one.
Some of the most annoying parts of Slack — like the irritating little bot's ability to get in your grill at the worst possible moments — are indeed human-made. So if the people you work with create custom Slackbot commands that you inadvertently trigger when you're at your most vulnerable, that's not Slack's fault.
But it's still annoying AF.
While some of the bot's callbacks can be delightful, Slackbot also goes out of its way to annoyingly remind you of the hundreds upon hundreds of notifications you missed when you were in "Do Not Disturb" mode. (WE GET IT).
And then when you really need help, it can't even follow through. Typical.
5. You've forgotten how to communicate without using Slack commands
@here — Pay attention, because this one is serious.
You may not even be aware of it, but Slack is RUINING YOUR SOCIAL LIFE, too.
Image: nicole gallucci/mashable
If you find yourself writing the "at" symbol before names in your important group texts or "ccing" your friends in Facebook posts, Slack has made you extremely awkward. If you find yourself naming your Tuesday night trivia team "Several people are typing," and tapping out the Slack command for your desired emoji symbol ( :pizza: ) instead of just sending the emoji (🍕, ) SLACK IS YOUR MASTER.
6. You slip into an indescribable panic when Slack goes down
You're minding your own business at work when suddenly, you notice an eerie calm amongst your otherwise notification-filled computer screen.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL, PEOPLE.
SLACK 👏 IS 👏 DOWN 👏
You've become so reliant on the app that you immediately pull it up to discuss this outrageous situation with your co-workers, but OH YEAH, you can't because you have forgotten the other methods of communication that exist on this planet.
7. You've been asked to "get off Slack" in a place where you most definitely should not have been on Slack to begin with
Do you check Slack immediately after leaving the office? That's understandable, because you want to make sure no one needed you at the last minute.
But do you check Slack when you're at the grocery store? Walking through traffic? On a date? In a movie theater? During your wedding shower? During your actual shower? Do you pull up Slack while riding the subway even though you know you have no internet access underground?
If "get off of Slack" is a phrase you hear repeatedly, Slack is inhibiting your ability to enjoy the world around you.
Thanks for being the worst, Slack.