Did you ever feel ignored in your group chat when you ask something important and no one giving you the answer?


I feel you guys! It’s also happened to me, and it sucks not to get the answer to things that you really want to know. I was so annoyed and decided to find the reason why this happens. It turns out that there is a psychological explanation of this phenomenon.

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It’s called the “Bystander Effect.”

What on earth is the Bystander Effect?

The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present.



The example of the bystander effect

We may think that when someone gets into trouble, and there is a large crowd among him/her, he/she will get much help too. However, when your surrounding is such a large crowd, it will decrease the chance of someone to take responsibility for an action. Because they will think like, “Ah, I’m sure that someone will come to help him.”, or “Just leave it up to the others. Maybe if I help, it will just make things worse”.

Apparently, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that anyone of them will help. So, the chance of your friend will respond to your message is depend on how many members in your group. If you want to increase your “answer rate,” it is better for you to find a reliable person and ask them directly :)

Explanations for the Bystander Effect

There are two significant factors that contribute to the bystander effect:

1. The presence of other people creates a diffusion of responsibility

Because there are other observers, individuals do not feel as much pressure to take action, since the responsibility to take action is shared among all of those present.



2. The need to behave in correct and socially acceptable ways

When other observers fail to react, individuals often take this as a signal that a response is not needed or not appropriate. Other researchers have found that onlookers are less likely to intervene if the situation is ambiguous.

This situation happens very often in any classroom when the teacher/lecturer is requesting the students to ask a question. The students may have a hundred questions in their minds that they want to know, but they decided not to ask a question because they don’t want to look like a fool in front of their friends.

In the long run, this is dangerous because it will prevent us from getting new knowledge.

Maybe, it’s time for us to remove these bad habits, aren’t we?

So, how we overcome the Bystander Effect?

While the bystander effect can have a negative impact, researchers have identified several different factors that can help people overcome this tendency and increase the likelihood that they will engage in helping behaviors.

Some of these include:

1. Witnessing helping behavior

Sometimes just seeing other people doing something kind or helpful make us more willing to help others.

Imagine that you are going to some department store. You see a woman holding a donation box and trying hard to persuade other visitors. She always got a rejection until suddenly a man approached her and giving her the donation. From that moment, it inspired other people to stop at her and donate their money.

2. Being skilled and knowledgeable

When faced with an emergency, knowing what to do dramatically increases the likelihood that a person will take action.

For example, your friend had a heart attack. When you have the skill to do the first aid to someone who has a heart attack, it will increase your responsibility to help him. Because you are already mastering the skill, and it will make you feel like a bad person when you decided not to help him.

3. Having a personal relationship

Researchers have long known that we are more likely to help people that we know personally. In an emergency, people in trouble can help cultivate a more personalized response, even in strangers, by taking a few essential steps.

Simple behaviors such as making direct eye contact and engaging in small talk can increase the likelihood that a person will come to your aid.

Start from now on, be friendly to our surrounding. We never know when we may need their assistance.

So, the conclusion is: we have to understand that the “ignored messages” in a group chat is inevitable because of this phenomenon called Bystander Effect. We should overcome this phenomenon by applying the three things that I mentioned earlier rather than blaspheme the situation.

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I hope this article enriches our knowledge, and we can get a paradigm shift to see the light even in the darkest place.

Thank you!


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