When I last wrote about 5 annoying phone habits, Whatsapp hadn’t been invented. With Whatsapp came a faster and easier way of communication. I especially love to use picture and video sharing while at concerts or shopping. Whatsapp paved way for a cheap way of communication, easing work for many while at the same time adding a lot to others, if not championing internet bullies.
Here’s what ticks me off:
Whatsapp is the only place outside an actual office space where the Admin is most powerful. True story. I hate that someone sitting somewhere has the power to add my number in any foreign Whatsapp group without getting my approval. Whether the add intention is for me to participate or silently watch and follow the topic of discussion, it still beats logic as I probably don’t know the caliber of its people and still didn’t give consent into joining in. Whatsapp should introduce an option of approving group adds. The worse thing in this situation is that the history of your phone number will still show even after you remove yourself from a group – meaning that it’s only a matter of time before you get added again! Moral of the story: Delete & Exit group.
2. Memes and graphic material or extremist messages
An empty mind is a devil’s workshop and Whatsapp paired with an empty idle mind really is the devil. Have you ever opened the content of a group and what you saw either made your heart nearly drop or had you first looking around hoping that no one else around you also saw ‘that thing’? Apart from the comical effect once or twice, I don’t see the value of endless Whatsapping memes and graphic material. If you’re like me and find that you can’t tolerate all this nonsense – just BLOCK.
3. The Eternal Spammer
There is that one person on your Whatsapp feed dedicated to sending you their own content so religiously as if you paid or subscribed for it. Here you find the DJs, publicists, club and show promoters, managers or just people who feel like their days and life make content so interesting that they must constantly share texts, pics or videos with the world at the tip of whatsapp. If you’re one of these people, EITHER stop and reflect on the quality and quantity of material you send out vis-a-vis the feedback and response OR just be nice. Most of the spams come in as a-matter-of-fact, gagging our freedom of choice. If you will force your shit down my throat, it better be good and be courteous while at it. Also, stop sending the large videos and audios via Whatsapp. Download WeTransfer for the videos and use email for songs. It’s an inconvenience to have my phone’s memory filled up by content that I never subscribed for. PS – all messages take up some space on the phone’s Whatsapp app even if they don’t automatically save while incoming. Hard to explain how but somehow the content partially counts in your app’s cloud, even while still awaiting acceptance.
Dear Spammer, please consider owning a personal diary or Facebook page/newsletter that you can constantly feed an audience that chose you back.
4. Whatsapping everything is Inappropriate
I have asked people severally to email business requests to my work email but many of them will still insist on reaching me via Whatsapp. I acknowledge that Whatsapp has become the only place of communication for some people. It’s actually a plus in PR, events, management or family if used effectively. However, it’s just not the place for some conversations. There needs to be a line drawn as of where a Whatsapp conversation ends, even if I just read it. I just find that using it as the only means of communication, either for relationships or business, is demeaning and unreliable and can lead to serious miscommunication.
If Whatsapping everything is your cup of tea consider the following scenarios:
If your phone goes off or Whatsapp crashes, you don’t have any other back up or a way of retrieving the information. Email hardly ever fails at this.
Because Whatsapp is based on the text message form, we unconsciously tend to play down our approach or language even if the information we were disseminating was serious and vital. So to sound and be more professional, get out of Whatsapp a little. Pick up the phone and call or send a text if you can.
There is actual life outside social media where people still read books, newspapers, magazines and letters. Believe me – try it! So people using Whatsapp solely for courting or judging their spouses should first try enjoying a date out without Whatsapping each other across the table.
There are times when your phone doesn’t have internet bundle/access or there’s just no Wifi but you could still easily check email on a laptop.
Finally – we have all fallen prey to Whatsapp’s classic expose of read thus ignored messages. Truth is people don’t only fail to respond because they are snobbing you – they are sometimes not in a position to respond. This is why you should meet or call people on things that might require more than a Yes or No for a response.
Whatsapp calls aren’t always the clearest. And if you receive another call on your direct line – Whatsapp’s is automatically put on hold. So annoying.
5. Stalkers and scammers
If I love you back, I will never snub your love message and if you weren’t a stalker you would figure that out. I first deleted Whatsapp on my first phone number because I had all sorts of stalkers, the highest number being rappers wanting to share their music with me. I appreciate that some people value my feedback but again I’d rather you send your song to a radio station and then share with me a SoundCloud link. The first rule of PR and marketing is using the right approach at the right time and on the right platform. Internet scammers purposing fake retail and items – we are not interested because we know where to get credible and original information.
As we all tread on – eager, cautious and ready for the next Whatsapp add, trending meme or big business deal, remember to stay away from groups that circulate hate speech and extremism. Don’t dread it – go on and create groups to spread positive messages that inform and counter misleading narratives. Lastly, looking back at when we didn’t have Whatsapp and now, would you rather go back or stay right here ?