Disclaimer : (Views expressed here should be taken with a pinch of salt or a massive Whatsapp 'group hug emoticon').
I am going to just put it out there--I despise WhatsApp chat groups. Don't get me wrong, I think WhatsApp is a great app (thank god, it took over bbm, I had overdosed). I just don't like the group feature on it. I get the point--it's a way to share messages to a community of family or yoga friends or maybe even a pet lovers' circle. But I find it all too consuming. I already have three family groups, namely "Awesome Family", "Our Family" and "Cool Family." Sometimes, I forget which group has which family members.
The deluge of wise cracks and banter will make you want to never read another message again.
Only recently, an old school group was formed with everyone from our batch. While it's great to rekindle ties with long lost schoolmates, I have put this group (and all others) on mute. The number of messages being exchanged per second can put a Japanese bullet train to shame. If it isn't on mute, your phone will buzz incessantly. How can one concentrate on ANY real activity like that? Once it's on mute and you do have a spare few minutes to check what you missed (which is usually a silly joke or a selfie of someone in their day), you need to keep scrolling up to see where you last left the conversation. The deluge of wise cracks and banter will make you want to never read another message again. Remember how one would be spammed by 'inspirational quotes' on email? Well, they've colonized WhatsApp groups now.
Remember how one would be spammed by 'inspirational quotes' on email? Well, they've colonized WhatsApp groups now.
Some groups make sense to me. Like 'work groups', but even those need to be monitored; if someone accidently adds the boss, you'll have to have an answer ready for why you never replied to his demands to the group, which you never bothered to check on a Sunday.
I have some advice for group administrators to make these groups what they are meant to be--fun, functional and not a giant pain in the butt. Here are some rules that could help.
1) Don't overshare
If we've created this group to discuss a particular subject, let's stick to that. There's personal messaging for inside jokes.
2) Brevity is beauty
Let's stick to short messages. If you have a huge point of view to send across, there's already something for that--email.
3) Cut out the lame jokes
Agreed, we all nurse secret ambitions, including that of being a comedian (even if that means forwarding jokes by others). But your group members aren't your automatic audience. Refrain from sad jokes. And if you still can't help yourself, don't always expect a reaction.
4) If it's urgent, call
This does not imply your Chihuahua's new haircut.
5) Don't take offence if somebody leaves a group
Let it not become the elephant in the chat. Maybe the person isn't getting much out of the discussion and simply wants to concentrate elsewhere. This, in no way, needs to be taken personally. You will still get a response if you decide to have a one-on-one conversation.
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