A feature for better back and forths

January 5, 2022

When I text my friends, we tend to hop across topics, from A to B to C to D.

And sometimes I’ll suddenly have a thought about topic A or B that I want to bring up, but by that point we’re on topic D already, so doing that would dilute the current conversation. Usually, I just bring it up anyways, and we’ll take a moment to talk about it.

But it feels like there can be a more organized and efficient way to facilitate these sorts of discussions where spontaneous thoughts flutter back and forth, from old topics to new topics.

I think there should be some feature that lets you temporarily separate texts. This way, instead of having to awkwardly re-inject thoughts about a previous topic into the current conversation, there could now be two separate side by side threads, one about topic A, and one about topic B, for example.

I’m imagining something like this:

back and forth 1 back and forth 2 back and forth 3

I suppose this idea is somewhat comparable to having various Discord or Slack channels, but I personally find it weird to have specific predetermined channels, because it feels like that’s saying we must use these channels. Also, some topics and conversations I get into are inevitably too specific or niche for general channels.

The most similar feature I can think of is probably the threads feature on Discord and Slack, but those are temporary and also only enabled in servers, not private messages.

Anyways, I don’t think something like this would be terribly difficult to implement, and I feel like it could really be a lot neater than the workarounds mentioned above, though that’s probably pretty naive and I’m sure it’ll have its fair share of problems. But it’s something I’m interested in thinking about and maybe taking a shot at making.