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WhatsApp “Staying Connected”

One platform that resonates well with many in these days of constantly evolving technology is the chat platform “WhatsApp”. Both young and the elderly are permanently preoccupied with staying connected on WhatsApp with family, friends, colleagues, groups, and all those they know. I guess it is because it is quite a good user friendly social media app that does not require too much techiness.

Personally, I am very comfortable using WhatsApp, given the speed with which messages are transmitted, the ease of adding and forwarding pictures and messages as well as how easily you can delete what you don’t want. WhatApp is a necessity, however it can easily be a pure nuisance if you do not handle it well. I was recently on a flight where my phone was off for the duration, unknown to me a new WhatsApp group was formed representing an old Alumni reunion. As I disembarked the aircraft I switched on my phone, to my huge surprise 700 WhatsApp messages were waiting to be read. I was totally shocked and could not immediately understand where they had all come from. The ordeal of having to read so many messages is one major reason why some people are distracted or disapprove of using Whats App for connecting. Well in everything you do in life it requires acts of responsibility, diligence, determination and deliberation. What are the Pros of WhatsApp that could hinder the regular use of WhatsApp to connect.

The following are some of what I consider a WhatsApp Dilemmas:-

  1. You are visible to all your contacts once they have the App on their mobile devices.
  2. Privacy is deprived in many instances.
  3. Unsolicited information drops automatically to your device.
  4. Disapproving pictures, videos, data are also sent without approval.
  5. Excessively long messages sent without warning.
  6. Chain mails forwarded with no relevance
  7. The platform can be time consuming and addictive.
  8. No laws governing information posted.
  9. Lingering conservations with no ending.

I0. Occupying too much space on your device.

I can go on and on with the numerous negative experiences WhatsApp tends to show up. Having said that “WhatsApp “is still a great instant way to connect; to your nearest, dearest and distant relationships. Though people do not need your permission to add you to a group or to send you a message, you can choose when you want to read a message, delete a message or exit from any group you so choose.

Given the serious issues raised around WhatsApp content stored on your phone and how unsolicited messages can implicate you, it requires some sensible protocol to manage your WhatsApp application or your device. I have gathered a few “WhatsApp Etiquette” strategies you may find useful to avoid offending another or being offended by others.

WhatsApp Etiquette

  1. Watch what you say.

Fortunately things said that you do not like can instantly be deleted and totally withdrawn before one gets to read it within a certain time frame. It is important that you are mindful of what you say in response to certain messages. Avoid unnecessary bickering and backering when you want to respond. Be clear and concise, only start a conversation you can defend.

  1. Watch what you forward.

It is unfair to send and forward every message you receive, without caution. Some messages are received multiple times, even on the same platform. Be on track and stay connected to avoid sending what others have already seen. The length of your message must be taken into consideration, not everyone has the time and patience to read very long message, it is a burden and you can become a nuisance to others. Videos take up a lot of data just like pictures, be conscious of what you re-forward or what you send.

  1. Watch out for sensitive information.

Though no permission is required when sending sensitive data, act again with caution even when you feel you are sending important information. Many people seriously do not have the wear with all to view gory pictures or watch gory videos that you send.  Avoid clogging up other people’s inboxes with data that impacts their feelings, psychology, state of mind and sensitivity.

  1. Watch the Size of your group.

As much as you may need to include all the members of a certain group, stay within a reasonable number. Follow on congratulatory messages for anniversaries, birthdays and the like simply clog up the platform too. There is a limited number of chats that is acceptable by WhatsApp, after which you would have exhausted the standard requirement. Messages from large groups create anxiety because of the numerous messages that seem to drop each day. Avoid being too regular with posting messages and surely not a daily affair.

  1. Watch the timing of your post.

Monday morning is not the time to be social on social media; you must respect people’s time and be sensitive to business hours and post at a time that people are free or early before the day starts. Avoid posting late at night especially if it involves a conversation. Respect family time, rest time and dinner time when posting. Anything after midnight is a complete No No.

  1. Watch who you are sending to.

It is possible you send a message accidentally to the wrong person, unless that person is kind enough to tell you, you may just never know. Double check before you send your message ensuring the right people are tagged. Confidential information is at risk if you do not take caution.

  1. Watch your grammar.

With the new technology phones, the phone has a brain of its own and many a times when you spell what you thought you spelt correctly, the phone on auto will change it. Always re-read your message, tidy up your grammatical errors and typo mistakes, be satisfied before you send that message. It is just a click away and it happens before you know it.

How many times have you automatically sent a message; just to discover how many errors were in it? Yes it can be embarrassing, fortunately you can immediately delete today and resend a corrected message.

However watch how often you delete in a WhatsApp message it can sabotage perceptions and the image one has of you.

Good luck!!!!!



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