Happy New Year guys! It’s been months since I’ve published any posts because, you know, life. However, your girl is back and ready to share her thoughts on whatever comes to mind in 2019. I figured I would start on a light note and address a topic that so many people seem to love to hate, the group chat.
WhatsApp has become such an integral part of our lives that trying to imagine the days before it became a Life Staple is almost impossible. One of the major and most time consuming uses of WhatsApp is the group chat. I know, I know, we have Facebook, Instagram and other chats but those aren’t the focus here. I’m talking about the fact that it’s the one thing that everyone from 60-something year old parents to the teachers and parents at your child’s school to the 12 and 13 year olds have in common, chatting up a storm with other people on their phones.
It’s become our major source for news (real or fake), gossip, work and school info. Thanks to these chats, we know who got married and who wore what, who had a baby, who died, what events are happening. We get financial and legal advice, jokes and share countless memes. You name it, you see it in a chat. I met an early 20s someone last year who told me she was in about 13 active chats, one each for different groups of friends, cousins from both sides of her family, work colleagues and a few special events. She found it so funny when I asked her how on earth she kept up with them all by saying that she just did but I suppose if that’s one of the inherent ways you’ve learnt to communicate due to the year you were born, then so be it.
I’m currently in 6 but only 3 are really active and even in those I’m not as active as I could be. I might have a burst of typing energy and respond to every message, especially if the conversation is particularly interesting or important but sometimes I need to not look at my phone for a while, or work is super busy and I need to concentrate or I’m on the road and can’t respond. Or heaven forbid I look at the messages with all intentions of responding, have to quickly do something else and then when I do pick up the phone I see a gazillion missed messages. For that, I’ve been chastised by friends for not being responsive enough. I just don’t know that I’m cut out for it, haha.
In the grand scheme of things though, these are my group chat rules:
1. Don’t send chain anything, leave that for the parents and aunties.
2. Don’t kill yourself if you haven’t replied to every message. Scroll through and see whether what you missed was important and reply as necessary.
3. Understand what your chat is for, so if it’s to discuss work related matters, don’t harass the members of the chat with messages that aren’t relevant to work.
4. Be mindful of what you type, shared screenshots can be dangerous.
5. Don’t assume that the person who hasn’t responded right away to your message has an issue with you. They may just have more pressing issues to attend to in the real rather than the virtual world. It happens.