I was never on social media until ten years back. I completed school more than three decades back, around fifteen of us were always in touch very closely, meeting and spending time with our family and participating in any of the family function and knowing what happens in our life every day. Around sixteen years back this fifteen started increasing and we started getting connected with more of our school classmates. This is what brought me to Facebook, to be connected with school friends. I was very active on Facebook during those days primarily to stay connected with my school classmates. I also started a Facebook group of our batch-mates and it was like we are back in our school. We used to have some great times going back to school days pulling each other. After we were connected with most of our classmates, someone suggested me to start a WhatsApp group around six years back. It took sometime for me first say yes to myself to start a WhatsApp account. I finally decided to start one and it used to be fun connecting with my friends when I landed on WhatsApp. I slowly started getting out of other popular Apps like Viber and Skype. WhatsApp became the medium of communication with my friends. Facebook helped me to connect with old friends and WhatsApp helps me to stay in touch with my family and friends. I also started a WhatsApp group and added my school batch-mates, this was the first WhatsApp group I was part of. Now, am also part of few other important groups. I already left groups which I found to be adding no value or where there were no conversation, these were groups where the day starts and ends with a bunch of people forwarding content. After I connected with most of my friends and family on WhatsApp I left Facebook.
Now, I use WhatsApp to call or message my friends and relatives. Am very happy communication has become so easy and cheaper. Am now part of few WhatsApp group, baring one or two most of the groups have these in common. a) There is hardly any discussion on the group, the groups are meant for forwarding any content from internet or YouTube b) Forward any News content without verifying whether its true or not c) at times forward inappropriate content without worrying about who are all part of the group d) Good Morning Messages with pictures of God – Am of the opinion what I worship and the God to whom I worship is personal and in a group there will be people from different religion, worshiping God of their choice or even people who don’t believe in God, I have not understood why people use pictures of God to say Good Morning. Am of the opinion few people are addicted to forward any content, even after the restriction of forwarding to only one person or group, I still see lot of forwards. If there is a group of 100 members it will be the four or five who will be keeping the group active by forwarding content without worrying whether the others are going through what is forwarded. I must admit even I have done this forward of content from YouTube or News, thankfully I got better sense recently and I stopped forwarding now. Nowadays, I share my Blog, good reads and knowledge sharing content with my close friends and family members.
WhatsApp is an excellent App to stay connected with our friends and family, with the option to do group video calls, it helps us to see our people and talk. WhatsApp is an excellent medium to share knowledge enhancing content. WhatsApp is also a place where we can have discussion with our friends on any topic – it could be sports, health, fitness, personal, movies, music, food recipe etc.., We can wish our friends and relatives on their birthday and anniversary. Finally, it helps us share our photos and see photos of our dear ones.
I only hope WhatsApp does some small changes so that the App is used for communicating and not for forwarding any irrelevant or inappropriate content. Here are the few things that come to my mind to make WhatsApp a better App a) WhatsApp should continue to allow users to share content, but forwarding option must be completely removed. b) sharing must be restricted to one or two groups on a day unless it is a photo clicked by them c) there must be an option to permanently archive a group d) it also makes sense to charge users for starting a WhatsApp group e) there must be tough laws for someone sharing or posting any sensitive or inappropriate content.
As mentioned earlier I have started using WhatsApp the better way. I only hope my friends will start using WhatsApp groups in a way others are not finding it uncomfortable. These are my personal views and it is not meant to offend anyone, Take Care and Be Safe.