Midnight Pub

Clearing conversations, why is it offensive?

~tskaalgard

The other day I accidentally deleted a conversation in Telegram I didn't mean to delete. The friend in question was so offended they blocked me. This isn't the first time this has happened to me - on at least three other occasions I have cleared a conversation either accidentally or on purpose, and the other person was so offended they blocked me.

Why is this such an offensive thing to do? I'm legitimately at a loss. When you speak to a friend at their house, do you have a transcript of the conversation? Do you need one?


maya

"Offensive" isn't the word I'd use, but I can see how I might feel it was rude.

To be frank, I really really wish I *did* have transcripts of my conversations with friends even from in-person. I have a garbage memory and it's really embarrassing that I blithely start retelling stories to the same person -- or refer to something major in my life that they never knew about! Just using encrypted messaging where I can't neatly search the full history already hampers my habit of trying to check if I've said something before. I know most people wouldn't, but....

I can't imagine blocking someone if they cleared a message archive, but I would expect it to be mentioned -- like "ah, nothing's up, I'm just tidying my message histories" or "oh dang, sorry, hit that by accident".

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tskaalgard

I get this. I think I'm beginning to come around on the issue but yeah, I've apologized and explained to several people who proceeded to block me.

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nsilvestri

It's a feature of Telegram, so it's clearly intended to be voluntarily ephemeral from both sides. On the one hand, I like having archives of conversations to look back on (just in case), but on the other hand...if they blocked you over something this inconsequential, I don't think their conversation was worth maintaining, anyway.

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starbreaker

I think the expectations are different for IM vs in-person spoken conversation. Also, when you deleted the conversation, you probably deleted it for the other person, too—and I wouldn’t be surprised if Telegram didn’t make it easy to export conversations as plain text for archival.

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mnbryant

You actually can export conversations pretty easily. I used to use Telegram for years doing textual roleplaying with a friend, and I discovered that I could export our chat history from the desktop client, which meant I had an archive of all the stuff we wrote together for eventual cleaning/looking back on/publishing.

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tskaalgard

I get that. The question is - why does it bother people to not have an archive of our conversations? That's kinda creepy imho.

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edisondotme

As a datahoarder, I think it's neat having an archive of my entire life (provided I have complete control over this archive and it's not in the hands of any FAANG or something).

As a social thing, I don't see it as creepy, I see it as wanting to preserve the history of a relationship. It's the same reason why we save written letters from loved ones.

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tskaalgard

I could see that with emails. Emails are different and more analogous to a letter. IMs are more like an in-person conversation. I guess it's not super creepy or anything, but I legitimately, in good faith, don't see why clearing a conversation is so offensive to so many people.

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zer0

It's a consent thing. No one would care if you only deleted it from your phone. Clearing from both phones is the equivalent of snatching someone's phone and deleting a thread without permission. Anyone is entitled to what they have on their phone

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starbreaker

I still have chat logs from when my wife and I courted between 2000 and 2004, along with our emails. You might think it's creepy, but those archives are part of our history. We can read through them together and remember when we were young and in love despite being on opposite sides of the planet.

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