What’s apping???

Have we completely lost it? Have we become brain dead? Or demented? Or morons?

How can we read, share, forward, copy, paste, read, send, forward…….the same jokes, stories, anecdotes over and over and over, again and again and again?

I am into a lot of WhatsApp groups and I am sure everybody else is, too. There is a school group, a college group, few kitty groups, a family group, an extended family group, to name a few. It’s a very effective way of keeping in touch and sending messages to a large number of friends simultaneously, and it doesn’t cost a dime, but I wish people would  learn to use it sensibly. It’s a great platform for sharing messages and updates between people, but the whole purpose of its usefulness is defeated as important messages are lost in the maze of useless forwards  that people keep posting. By the way the same forwards are shared on your Facebook timeline too! And then there are comments like “great posts abc” or “wonderful posts xyz”.

So, I have read about the thugs who spray chloroform on visiting cards which they then give you to make you unconscious so that they can rob you, the thieves who stick this piece of paper on your rear windshield  to prompt you to get out of your car so that they can drive away in it, the warnings about downloading specific messages that will steal sensitive data from your phone and a lot of other stories that I now know by heart as I get to read them at repeated intervals on the various WhatsApp groups!

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If this is not enough, there are people wishing you good morning, good evening, good night with pictures of flowers, lakes, waterfalls, sunsets, etc. Seriously, who has the time to go through this trash during the course of a busy day! If I am away from my phone for an hour I see 258 or some such atrocious number of WhatsApp messages waiting to be read!!! If I choose not to read all those messages, then I miss that one important message about my friend waiting to meet me at the coffee shop.

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Then there is this species of friends who believe in giving you general “gyan” about life and its philosophies! They keep posting quotes of great people, famous proverbs, etc. and you know what, this is your “eureka “ moment! So this is where you have been going wrong. Maybe if you practise what is written in the proverb, your life will become better. Simple isn’t it?

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And don’t forget those jokes. Oh yes, they are supposed to make you laugh but having read a joke for the umpteenth time, I am ready to pull out my hair!

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And if this is not enough, you will have twenty people responding to this joke with emojis or emoticons! So you have these winking faces with their tongues hanging out, tears streaming down faces, smirking faces, smiling faces, laughing faces, thumbs up signs and clapping emoticons flooding your phone screen! Uff!!!

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Friends, WhatsApp is a great platform. If we learn to use it judiciously it is quite a helpful thing. So come let us follow some basic WhatsApp etiquette to make this amazing app more of an asset and less of a liability.

  • Keep this platform solely for sharing messages and personal info
  • Do not post senseless forwards on group chats
  • Avoid putting those good morning, good night messages
  • Do not have a private conversation on a group chat
  • Do not post too many pictures unless they are of an event attended by the group
  • Discuss and post only those messages which are relevant to the group
  • Do not discuss politics or religion on group chats
  • Avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments with insensitive remarks
  • Do not post information that has not been verified
  • Do not text at odd hours
  • Use smileys and emoticons effectively

I have to sign off now as my phone is pinging again. Another 300 messages waiting to be read I am sure!

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