Friday, September 04, 2015

{Friendship Friday} The whatsapp culture

I sometimes don't know what I'm doing in this world where everyone wants things done instantly.

And yet I'm like that with work. Actually, that's not completely true. I do want done things there and then if they can be done there and then (setting up meetings, responding to quick emails, etc.). For other things I'm happy to wait for a reasonable turnaround time but I want it definitely done within that time, no comebacks two days before that you need additional info.

But with other life stuff and social media, I guess I see things like urgent (I'm driving to meet you and there's an accident on the highway so traffic's at a standstill) and important (I'm checking in with you to see how you're doing), and not urgent or important (participating in things that have really nothing to do with me...).


 A friend and I discussed this once when she apologised for not responding to a whatsapp of mine and I told her that unless something was urgent, I really didn't expect an urgent answer.

A now-friend (ex-client) has a message on his Whatsapp that says "I only check this once a day. If you need to get hold of me urgently, phone me" which I LOVE.

So I changed my message but I guess no-one reads it because....

A friend sent me a long story on Whatsapp last week about a job situation....important but not urgent. And I was at work so my thing is that my employer is paying me not to reply to all personal stuff, but to do my work.

I needed thinking time and quiet time to respond.

The following day I received a snarky message saying it would be nice to at least acknowledge her message.

I then said I haven't had time to respond, etc. and then I got one back saying I'm too cold.

That is true. I am very "cold" on phone messages and texting which is precisely why I hate responding to anything via my phone except urgent (see my definition above) messages. I hate typing on a device so I keep everything to a minimum.

Of course the message came in when I was busy with important work that had to get out that day so I really couldn't deal with all that then.

I sent a message back on the way home (D driving) apologising for the coldness and saying that's why I don't do this social media thing very well. And then she said but you're on FB.

For the love!

It was true. I had responded to a comment from my phone and did about two "likes".

Two things:

Now I get why some people don't get whatsapp... and I'm super conscious now of people "stalking" my FB activity.

Which I hate on every level.


I did properly look at the original message that night, answered everything thoughtfully and gave links, phone numbers of contacts, etc. and then I got just a "thank you", no emoji, nothing. So I think she was still ticked off at me. And then it was my turn to be a little agitated (just a little 2/10) because I had taken 10 - 15 minutes to look up stuff and message back, and maybe her thank you could have been a tad warmer.

Ai! This social media business. We humans are crazy, hey?

(I told another friend "I'm in trouble on the whatsapp because I'm too cold" and this 2nd friend said, "YOU ARE BAD ON WHATSAPP!" I don't take it personally. I KNOW! I'm bad with this stuff. My phone is only out to post to Instagram and answer those comments a bit. Oy!)

Anyway, all this business made me realise yet again that I really don't like to live in a social media world to conduct the business of real connection.

Whatsapp is for the birds!

Let's meet in real life, people, where I can stare into your eyes, read your body language,  touch you on your arm and meaningfully connect with you.

That said, if you get "cold" messages from me, just tell yourself, "she's busy, she's at work, this is not real life".


Over and out.

How are you on the Whatsapp and other fast-moving social media?
How do you stay fully engaged in your real life with all these messages flying around? (serious question)

PS People at work have also said when I look for you on Whatsapp, it says x days since you were last seen. And that's because I generally only respond to conversations. I feel overwhelmed by all the back and forth.
PPS I'm so glad D and I "courted" in the pre-cell phone era. Imagine the fights! "But I saw you get the message - there were two ticks. Why are you taking so long to answer?!" 


  1. I feel your pain Marcia. I am.constantly getting grief because my phone is always on silent. When I have time, I look at it. If not, I don't. The first time someone took this badly was on my very first phone, pre social media, late 90's. I told that guy then and I still maintain, the phone is for MY convenience, not HIS. And I won't feel guilty about not answering it if I don't feel like it.

    *Obviously all Nicola related calls get answered straight away, but that's about it.

  2. WhatsApp is my main form of communication with people I know well. It's cheaper than phoning or SMSing. Generally, I respond as soon as I receive the message but mostly I'm close with people who don't take it personally when I don't respond right away. Likewise, I don't take offence when someone I've sent a message to doesn't jump to acknowledge or answer me. I reckon life's waaaay too short to be bothered with people who make my life, actions and right to give or receive communication all about them. Also, I don't really consider WhatsApp a "social media" platform - and I DETEST WhatsApp Group Chats... In my universe, WhatsApp is the new SMS. And if whatever it is that you're messaging me about is that urgent, pick up the phone and call me - it's quicker than typing anyway.

    1. Yes, it's not social media but I think it's the group chats that make me feel like Facebook where I have to talk..............eek!

  3. WhatsApp, like MeeA says above is about communicating with most people - I do still enjoy a good long chat on the phone or in person, but it isn't always possible. Twitter for me is about quick bursts of chats and information. I control my urge to instantly respond by leaving my phone elsewhere in order to focus on where and when I am.

    Ps. Thank you for chatting about and sharing things on the konmari method, it is amazing...and truly life changing.

    1. I think it's those two blue ticks that make me feel the pressure!!! But I do consider it just information, no pressure to respond. :)

      Pleasure about Konmari - keep following the other blog, Cassey!

  4. Whatsapp for me is quick messages - same as sms. And I do respond often because somehow a lot of work people now Whatsapp. The groups for school sometimes gets me down though - then I go and silent them for a day and check after that.

    However - if someone asks me something that needs some thought and input - hell, give me time! I need to think it through and not at work.

    Also I love this "And I was at work so my thing is that my employer is paying me not to reply to all personal stuff, but to do my work." Gosh I wish I can relay this to my staff. When my salary was paid by someone it was my mantra too. Now off course I feel that it's my own time and I spent time at night at home so I can have this flexibility.

    And then - after all being said - I do love an old fashioned phone call or a visit more. I am intending on doing both of these more.

    1. My head says that whatsapp is more instantaneous and makes me feel pressure. It's those two ticks!!! SMS I will get to when I'm good and ready... :)

      I do take work time seriously and I think that's why God blesses my "hands at work"

  5. Lol, the curse of the two blue ticks!! hmmm... we need to discuss this in person! I'm like if the person sees two blue ticks, they know I've seen their message, and my guilt complex forces me to at least say "I see your message, I'll respond as soon as I can" or something like that. But yes, I have also been caught out when people can see me responding on other social media platforms while appearing to ignore them on whatsapp.. haha! Oh the 21st century and it's social etiquette! By the way, you misquoted me.. I am sure I said you suck at whatsapp, not you are bad at it! Haha, kidddddinggggg! And just to be clear, being bad at whatsapp is actually a good thing, it means you aren't glued to and governed by your cell phone.. like some people i.e ME.. :) xxx

    1. You outed yourself :) Bad/ Suck = Same Difference. No?

      Well, that's how I see it but I'm THIS close to deleting it. I have a client who chases me down on whatsapp and who I obviously ignore til office hours!

  6. oh my word. If you are at work, she must respect you are busy! My phone lies everywhere in the house. If you want to get hold of me phone the landline or send me an email I will probably get that first!

  7. Food for thought!

  8. This is a very interesting post. I like the convenience of Whatsapp - that I can "speak" to several people at once about the same thing but I also HATE those blue ticks... especially since I have a bad habit of checking my phone when I shouldn't (in a meeting, at a red light etc) and then when I know the person has seen my blue ticks I'm all pressured to reply. Sometimes I reply in my head and forget to actually reply! I am on my phone WAAAAAY too much and I have to really get it under control. I downloaded that moment app you spoke about and the results were SHOCKING! That said I've not really changed much to change it. But I realise I need to. The challenge for me is that my clients call me on my phone so I can't necessarily "pack it away"... and I use it all the time to snap pics of the kids and our life... This needs some thought on my side!

    PS - I also WAY prefer a face to face meeting and chat over food and drink :) much more acceptable!

  9. Like MeeA, whatsapp has become my main form of communication. I stick with it because it's cheaper than SMS and phoning. I don't expect a quick response but if I do need one then I will say something like "please let me know ASAP so I can have enough time to make an alternative plan" or whatever. I am simply not bothered by the blue ticks. And I will respond when I am good and ready. Also. Those groups are a problem. I need to figure out how to hide the notifications - there's a way to do that on the phone. I have no issues leaving groups if I feel that they are no longer working for me or serving me in any way.
    I hardly go on SM these days! I tweet sporadically (like once every couple of days maybe) and I check into FB once a day - just to see who I need to say Happy Birthday to. I also hardly read blogs! I'm quite enjoying my real life!

  10. I am tired! Tired of all the noise everywhere. I have a few (ok a few too many) whatsapp groups which I think is what has overloaded my senses - there are dance groups (2), Santa shoebox groups (3), moms and babes groups (2). It is a lot of constant noise!

    When I had Ds phone it was a mission to reply to anything so I eventually just let it go. If it was urgent I replied, if not I didn't. It KILLS me on groups where someone says something, not anything really noteworthy and all 10 people (or more) go Ok, Ok, Ok, Ok - I can actually smash my phone!

    BUT back to the question - I use whatsapp a lot. I hate talking on the phone so this works better for me!


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