My entry to the WhatsApp world was belated, and a wee bit hesitant since I was clueless as to what I was getting into, and I have this inherent distrust of things that I am not familiar with. However, there comes a point when you start hating to start a conversation with people, since you know that they are gonna put up that ‘WTF’ expression on their faces pretty soon and blink their eyes in disbelief when you tell them that you are not on WhatsApp. It was just a matter of time hence for my curiosity to get the better of me, and the universal green circle icon found a place on my phone as well.
Aww! I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on all these days and I was WhatsApping away to glory like there was no tomorrow. This seemed like truck loads of fun, and it felt really nice to be connecting with people on a different platform altogether.
Well..that’s how it was at least until WhatsApp groups happened.
The world of WhatsApp groups was unlike anything that I had experienced before, and the select groups that I was added to initially consisted of people whom I knew well; those friends whom you get to meet on an everyday basis or your colleagues at work, or some of the alumni groups of your own students. This brought in a lot of cheer, and I loved interacting with them, and the WhatsApper in me got real busy checking out their DPs and statuses and what not.
And then, all on a sudden, you find yourself in a group of a hundred people, and you don’t even have an inkling as to who these men and women are; hollering at each other and generally blabbering away. You take a look at the long list of group participants and see that you probably know one, maybe two of the group members and wonder what you are doing there in the first place.
Every morning, you wake up to those hundreds of messages awaiting you with a glaring notification right on the top of your phone that you are ‘fast running out of space’. You delete the chats without a second thought or a look and think of how decent it would look if you made a quiet exit. And then one fine day, you are startled out of your sleep by a flurry of WhatsApp beeps, and when you frantically swipe across the screen to see what has happened, you find two strange people from a ‘Blood Donation’ group having a go at each other with vengeance. The ‘Panchayat’ group follows suit, and so does the local ‘Humanists’ group, and the ‘Bike Lovers’ group and the ‘Vigorous Machans’ group. And that’s just the start of things.
Someone tells me that there is an option to ‘Mute’ the groups but it sadly doesn’t work wonders for me, and my phone still gets bombarded with the hundreds of messages that dwell on topics as diverse as the weather to secularism, freak fashion to the American Presidentship, sleaze scandals to faith and devotion, petty politics to foreign policies. And then there is also the never ending mud slinging and swear ceremonies, the revival of long lost romances and rivalries, and the bitching and back biting even as you wrack your brains trying to gauge where you figure in the entire scheme of things. And there are the ceremonious exits and re-entries and the near futile discussions that follow.
Someone tells you that its plain rudeness to walk out of a group and you stay on, and only on very rare occasions do you sneak out, especially when you cannot take it any more. You set the alarm for 2 am in the morning for the WhatsApp group exits, hoping that the group members are fast asleep – at least the ones who are in the same geographical zone as you – and that they would realize that some unknown number has left only by morning.
Talk of the new age technological dilemmas, and give me a better example please..someone!