A significant number of South Koreans are stressed out over group chats on platforms such as KakaoTalk, according to a number of surveys in recent years.
In a survey conducted last year by the Korea Press Foundation, nearly 7 in 10 Korean adults said they had stayed in chatrooms despite wanting to leave, with nearly half saying they had stayed to avoid hurting other people’s feelings.
The survey, which involved a sample of some 1,000 people aged between 20 and 50, also found that one of the most common reasons people stay silent in a group chat is fear of their words being disclosed to other people.
According to a more recent survey by job portal Saramin, released Friday and involving 550 office workers, over 6 in 10 respondents said they had taken part in work-related group chats on their messaging apps.
In online communities, some users have expressed frustration about group chats.
“I’d love a feature (allowing users) to secretly leave a group chat,” one user on web portal Naver said -- referring to KakaoTalk, the most popular messaging app in Korea, where participants in a group chat are informed when someone leaves.
Another Naver user suggested that messaging apps should allow people to choose whether to accept invitations to group chats, as well as to delete a message sent by mistake before it is read.
Though several lawmakers have proposed legislation in the past, Korea currently has no laws that address the exchanging of online messages between employees after work hours.
In January 2017, France passed a law stipulating that companies with more than 50 staff members must let their employees ignore emails after work hours.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)