Warrzone GroupMe Brings Belligerent Online Battles


Detailed Debate: Juniors Sullivan Seydel and James Fiveash react to a multitude of online arguments.

Warrzone: the GroupMe name that is immediately recognizable to the North Atlanta student body. GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app that allows large communities to connect and communicate. Warrzone is North Atlanta’s own student-run message group made up of more than 400 members who can ask fellow classmates for help on assignments, share clubs and sports updates, or now simply seek camaraderie in the midst of these strange virtual circumstances. 

However, the discussion group may be veering further away from its original purpose with the rise of tense debates. Many students who once valued the GroupMe for its convenience factor may now feel like they are being inundated with a barrage of negative messages. In these unconventional times when community contact is more critical than ever, the strongest connection between the students of NAHS may also be becoming the most divisive force. “I do not feel we are a community, especially not in the Warrzone groupme,” said senior Payton Jones. “I wouldn’t say it’s toxic but I definitely think it’s lost its original purpose.”

In the GroupMe, school-related topics arise and often stem into entirely different discussions. Sometimes, the conversation remains lighthearted with students adding in their own quips to contribute to the entertainment. However in other instances, multiple different perspectives clash, and the chat inadvertently escalates into a full-blown battleground. Henry Berman is a senior at North Atlanta who frequently shares his input with the group. “I think people are too quick to defend themselves when others are trying to offer constructive criticism,” he said. “At least in my experience, my messages are twisted to seem negative when for the most part I’m just trying to voice my opinion.”

Underclassmen, particularly freshmen, also look to their older counterparts to learn the ropes. With the switch to virtual school, it may already be harder for these new students to find help tackling the startling shift into high school. The GroupMe is their primary connection to the all-knowing juniors and seniors, but the fear of speaking up in such a formidable group can inhibit underclassmen from seeking answers and advice they desperately need. “I understand how the Warrzone Groupme would be an intimidating space for people who are afraid of conflict,” she Kayla Gilbert, a junior who is well aware of Warrzone’s argumentative tendencies. “Most people respond by either ignoring the messages or going down rabbit hole arguments that lead nowhere.”

Although the GroupMe can become a tense and overwhelming virtual place, it is still the most reliable resource and community connection for many North Atlanta students. With close to 500 members, battles within the chat are somewhat inevitable. The students of NAHS just need to remember the one exclamation everyone can agree on … Go Dubs!