Sunday, November 22, 2015
#NaBloPoMo Day 22 - Why I hate Whatsapp groups
Whatsapp is like the most fashionable place to be today. People who do not understand social media in general say - I am very active on Whatsapp and feel better for not being on other platforms. I thought Whatsapp was bloody good because one could send messages free of cost. No more paid SMS. But then came along Whatsapp groups and there was chaos in my paradise.
The tech-challenged person that I am, I was blissfully unaware of groups on Whatsapp for sometime. And then I joined a Zumba class which had groups for each batch. My notification alerts used to be on at that time. And the phone started beeping incessantly at night and early mornings. When I checked to see what was being shared, it was mostly each member saying - Good morning, Chirag or Good Night, Chirag and the others wishing each other the same.
(Chirag was this 20 something Zumba trainer of our class and the kiddo was surprised to see one of us turn up in salwar kameez for a session obviously due to exposure to spandex covered chicks in his training classes. I wanted to inform the shocked kiddo that this is our national dress and he would have seen it being commonly worn if he were born about 2 decades before he actually did. But I digress here)
I had an instant dislike for this Whatsapp group business right from the word go. I was like why do I have to be notified of a message which is not even for me! Well! Times moved on, other people caught on to the trend. And I was added to my Yoga class group. Which was worse because most students were older, Gujju ladies (no offence meant) and more often than not the conversation would be in Gujarati - a language I do not understand to this day. It was just a nuisance to stick around for an occasional announcement about class schedules which I would anyways get on my personal message too. I quit the group. (And I was surprised that people were surprised that I quit!)
I guess I had a happy life for a bit since I did not anyone who may want to add me to a group. Nor did I want to be in any. And then started training groups which I chose to join hoping to meet like minded people and get into some stimulated discussions about training. Fat chance! People in one group argued for 2 days if new members should be asked to introduce themselves!! We are joining a virtual group to become a part of the team, not planning to bombard Paris for ISIS - why would you not want to introduce yourself?? I almost doubted if these people could even be taken for intelligent trainers! And there is something about herd mentality that makes everyone argue - whether right or wrong. Silence is so underrated in today's times. So I have quit pretty much every group where people have added me. Especially groups where people have added me, without asking me. Sometimes more than once. I quit. More than once.
So why am I so allergic to Whatsapp groups? Now I remember this was supposed to be where I start my post. But I guess writing is so cathartic that sometimes it's hard to stop the flow of thoughts.
1. I am more of a one-to-one person. It is hard for me to form connections with invisible, faceless people on a phone chat group.
2. The phone is too small a device to scroll down an entire discussion or to hold one in the first place.
3. Ironically, the inspirational messages all day long is what gets my goat the most. I have had someone post entire chapters of a book each day on the group. Why??
4. The inspirational images will clog your phone if your auto download is on. I had to just disable the feature before my phone was full of these messages/images.
5. I prefer chats with individuals where there is a point to it. Almost all my chats on Whatsapp are with individuals I have something to talk to.
6. By the time I manage to look at chats, the zillion notifications make it impossible to respond to any of the conversations, most of which are over. And I salute people who contribute to those zillion messages! It's as if some people are paid to yap on Whatsapp or how can people keep messaging all day long!
These are a few reasons off the top of my head for not liking whatsapp groups. So if you need to reach me, please send me a message directly. I will seldom see anything addressed to me in a group.
PS: These are my personal views about my dislike for whatsapp chats. No offence meant to people who love being in groups and have found a happy social life there.