Assume you are in a chatroom

In this chatroom, each unique participant has an identifier that you can reference. Let’s pretend this identifier is the fingerprint on Meatspace Chat.

Ignoring the technical and visual details, imagine there was an option to share a digital sticker chosen from a fixed list of stickers to an individual or to a group of participants.

If you send a sticker to an individual in the chat, then there is a blue signifier.

blue signifier

If you send a sticker to a group in the chat, then there is a green signifier.

green signifier

When are you more likely to respond to a sticker?

If you receive a couple of stickers from the same sender and they all have green signifiers, are you less likely to respond?

On the other hand, if you receive a blue signifier, are you more likely to respond?

How often do you respond to Snapchats if you sense that they are being sent to a group versus you? If there was a blue/green signifier would that change how often you communication with others on it?

In the discussions I’ve had with people on this scenario, most said they were more likely to respond to blue signifiers than green signifiers. The sticker isn’t actually important in this case. The direct sharing connection between sender and receiver is the most relevant part of the transaction.

Communication is easy when it is reciprocated

This type of transaction works well as a bonding mechanism between participants - and the obvious flirtation mechanics occur as a part of the game in human communication.

But what if someone you are not interested sends you blue signifiers and you don’t want to respond? Responding could give the wrong message that you are interested in bonding (when you are not), but not responding means their feelings could be hurt.

How would you handle problems of unrequited stickers in this scenario? How could you ensure that everyone involved stayed happy?