What's the best communications tech for polyamorous people?

Hello! What messaging app do you use to keep in contact with your loves? Right now we're just sending texts and it's not efficient! Please and thanks!

That’s going to really depend on the specific needs of the people using it! For me, the critical aspects of a messaging app are that it 1.) transfers seamlessly from computer to mobile 2.) can be open at work without looking immediately suspect and 3.) allows for one on one and group chats. Also, given that the personality traits I’m attracted to tend to come clustered with a certain type of absent-mindedness, I really like when an app gives me “read” notifications (and I insist that my partners keep them turned on for me.) So for a while, Google Hangouts was my go-to, and it continues to be my primary messaging app for one-on-one chats with my people.

Then, I created a Slack for my entire social crew, which I absolutely love for all its features. You can customize notifications, make multiple channels, create threads in-chat, and put gifs. All my partners as well as all my friends are there, so that’s become a primary way for us all to talk. I know a lot of people use Discord in similar ways; but since my workplace uses Slack and not Discord, it’s less anxiety-inducing to have a personal Slack open at work. (Also, Discord doesn’t allow threads, which is a feature I really like.)

Since Google Hangouts is connected to my Google account and since I have my Google Hangouts and my Slack open on my work computer (and all other devices), I don’t have ‘private’ conversations in those apps, so when my partners and I want to talk about something more adult, we use Signal, which I only have on my phone, isn’t connected to any other accounts and devices, and is tucked away deep in a hidden folder (I work with kids). I also use Kik for similar reasons. (It’s annoying that I can’t use them on a laptop, since typing on mobile tires my fingers out much faster, but such is the life I lead.)

But that’s just me! It’s most important to find the system that works for you and your partners. When you say that texting is “not efficient,” I’m not entirely sure what you mean - you’ll need to identify what kind of “efficiency” features you’d like, and then find an app that meets those needs. If the issue is that “planning who’s getting together when” is being overwhelmed by social chatter, you might want something with threading. If the issue is that everyone is in a separate text and it takes a lot of work to cross-check and distribute what everyone is saying, you’ll want something that’s better for group comms. If the issue is that one of your partners never checks their texts and has a zillion unread notifications, you’ll want something with more customizable notifications. And so on.

It’s aggravating that in this modern world, we can’t just talk to each other across platforms; and that we need to figure out whether to use Facebook Messenger vs Google Hangouts vs SMS vs Kik vs Signal vs Slack vs Discord - but once you find a system that works for your crew, it’s pretty awesome.