After some nudges from well-meaning friends, I finally activated the WhatsApp site about two years ago and instantly declared it a brilliant find.  It was exciting, new and loads of fun as more and more friends joined, sharing jokes an photos of very interesting nights out and other social events.

Sadly, over the years, this onc3e amicable social network, like so many others before it, has turned sour.  It has become a place for others to vent their frustration with the world and everyone in it.


‘I’m all for sharing views and expressing opinions, but when did it become Ok to frighten and annoy me? Too many people post things with little or no thought for their impact on others. Most of my friends are aware of my phobia for anything that has to do with sharing morbid details about the dead. Yet I get gory details of burnt bodies and innocent people being decapitated by blood-thirsty ‘jihadist’ who carried on their dastardly acts with relish. The most unfortunate bit is that the details often jump at me before I have the time to quickly delete!

And lately, the religious posts get more and more bizarre! Muslims tell you with glee how they’ve successfully given their lives to Christ, whilst Christians let you know the joy they felt when they discovered Islam was the best thing to ever happened to them! Almost after all these postings, you are urged to send the posts to a lot of your contacts within a certain period of time or you face the wrath of God! Really? Years back, when chain-letters sprout like a bad rash, they were posted into various homes where recipients were warned not to ‘break the chain’ if they didn’t want to more or less rot in hell! One particular chain-letter was so bad that the number of gullible public member that fell for it was mind-bugling. At the end of a chain letter, you append your name and the list of the recipients you were forwarding them to. When a national paper got its hands on a copy of the letter and the long list of those who’d received and forwarded, their names were published and it took a long time for the celebrities amongst them to keep a straight face in the public.

Now chain-letters are being replaced by electronic feeds. Shola, a 40-year- old dentist, who finally had a longed – for baby said she was shocked by the message she received on her platform. ‘“I don’t know how this machochist had gotten her hand on my details, but as soon as I brought my baby home, her messages popped on my screen,” she said, “she’d managed to get from a friend, the information I wasn’t breast-feeding my baby and I was continually informed that by refusing to breastfeed my baby, I was ensuring the child would be aggressive and sick, while these were followed by images that claimed you’re a selfish mother if you didn’t breastfeed. Yet none of these holier-than-thou militant views knew I was medically unable to breastfeed my child. When I informed a few of them, most replied they meant ‘no offence.’!

“Does ‘no offence meant’ make it Ok? Should we accept that it’s more acceptable to give offence and apologise later than not cause offence in the first place? As a mother of a longed-for child, all I want is for my child to be

safe and happy. I don’t want him to fall foul of internet bullying.” So how do

we stop this? By respecting one another for a start, but that is easier said than

done. Efforts by our ‘hard-working’ legislators to gag the social network

users have led to more vitriolic posts of their activities.

In the meantime, any post ordering me not to ‘break this chain’ forwarding messages

to more people who’d be in the least interested in the junk is promptly deleted. Emotional blackmail won’t work here. We must not make ours a society that has made disrespect a national pastime. Enough of embarrassing feeds tagged to very respected personalities who often disclaim such embarrassing twits. Thank goodness the ‘delete’ button has made it easy to discard rubbish- promptly!

Excessive Boozinz: – The Good News And The Bad …

For those who enjoy a tipple, the glass is both half full and half empty it seems. Adult drinkers are up to 24 per cent less likely to suffer a heart attack than teetotallers, research reveals. However, they are at far more at risk of developing cancer. And they are also at greater danger of seriously injuring themselves. Those who exceed the safe drinking levels of 14 units a week for a woman and 21 units for a man are more likely to die early, the Lancet study found.

Overall, there are no benefits to drinking even modest amounts, Canadian researchers say. They urged health officials to help adults cut back. Their study looked at 114,970 men and women from 12 countries including Sweden, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, India and Turkey. They used the term ‘current drinker’ as a broad description covering both adults who had alcohol only once or twice a week and those who had several glasses of wine a night.

Researchers tracked the adults for three years and found that current drinkers were 24 per cent less likely to have suffered a heart attack over that time than those who did not drink alcohol at all. But they were 51 per cent more at risk of developing cancers – including breast, ovary, liver and stomach – and had a

29 per cent chance of injuring themselves, through falls, for example.

When the researchers examined the data more closely, they found adults with a ‘high intake’ of alcohol – above the Government’s recommended weekly limits – were 30 per cent more likely to die early. They concluded that alcohol did not give any long-term benefits. ‘Our study shows that current drinking is not associated with a net health benefit,’ they said. Dr. Andrew Smyth, of the Population Health research Institute at McMaster University, in Ontario, added:

‘Our data support the call to increase global awareness of the importance of harmful use of alcohol and the need to further identify and target the modifiable determinants of harmful alcohol use.’ Other experts said the findings that drinkers had a lower risk of heart attack should be treated with caution as there may be underlying factors – adults who enjoy a drink tend to be more comfortably off and in better health than teetotallers, who include reformed alcoholics.

Recent evidence has shown that even adults who stick within the guidelines are increasing their risk of cancer, as well as liver disease, heart attacks and strokes. Some experts say the public should be clearly told there is no safe level of alcohol and drinking only a modest amount still carries a risk. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: ‘This international study confirms our present understanding in the UK, namely even moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of common cancers without conferring protection against heart deaths. It is extremely concerning that alcohol-related cancers are on the rise and our surveys show that the

public are not aware of the risks they face.’

In For A Penny… (Humour)

Every night of the week, Jack would stagger home after the bars closed and every night of the week, his wife would be waiting on the doorstep, ranting and raving. “Oh Doris,” she confided in her friend the next day. “I’m so fed up with this, it doesn’t seem to matter what I say, he just goes on getting drunk.” “Well maybe you’re reacting in the wrong way,” replied Doris. “Why don’t you try being nice to him and see what happens?”

So the following evening, Jack arrived back drunk as usual, but this time his wife remained calm. “Come and sit yourself down,” she said, giving him a kiss, “and I’ll make you a nice cup of coffee.” After he’d drunk it, she whispered seductively: “shall we go up to bed now?” ((Might as well,” he replied. “I’ll be in trouble anyway when I get home.”



Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.