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‘More than any time in our history, we’re communicating through our phones. And that means Whatsapp. Today we look at five common ways in which using Whatsapp ruins our relationships.’
If you still have to ask ‘What’s Whatsapp?’, then you’re lucky indeed. Not to mention way behind the times. These days, even people you think are technologically challenged are signing up for Whatsapp, and they’re uploading images and videos like crazy. It may not be the best thing to happen to humanity, but it surely is the flavour of the decade. Why else would Facebook pay $19 billion for it, right?
Today we look at some ways in which Whatsapp is ruining our relationships.
1. Blue Ticks. Enough said.
When you send a message on Whatsapp, not only does it tell you when it is sent from your phone and delivered to the recipient’s phone, it also ‘helpfully’ colours the ticks blue when it has been read by your chatting partner. Which means that excuses such as ‘I haven’t checked my phone since morning’, which have been flying high for years now, will have to be revisited. Now you have to actually think of a convincing lie for why you read the message but didn’t reply. Good luck with that.
2. Last seen when?
Whatsapp also has another friendly feature whereby it tells you when each of your Whatsapp friends was ‘last seen’. So if your girlfriend tells you that she’s going to bed, and if next morning you see that her ‘last seen’ timestamp is two hours after that, you won’t be human if you aren’t even a tiny bit curious about why she had to lie to you. Even if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for it, just asking the question is bound to lead to some uncomfortable conversations.
3. Going invisible
Of course, like all messenger services, you can go ‘invisible’ on Whatsapp, but then everyone in your friend circle knows that you’ve gone invisible. What’s the point of the invisible status if everyone can distinguish between that and the offline status? It’s like being the invisible man that everyone can see. No fun. And most times, it can lead to some awkward questions such as, ‘What were you doing when you were invisible yesterday on Whatsapp?’
4. Groups
If you’ve ever been part of a Whatsapp group, you would know how trigger-happy they can be. Every time someone posts a message, you get a beep on your phone, and you check it only to see that someone has posted an inane emoticon-filled joke that everyone has to laugh at. Yes, there is the mute button, but then you run the risk of being branded an anti-social nerd if you don’t participate in these ‘conversations’.
5. The Display Picture
Much more than the Facebook Display Picture, the Whatsapp variant of it is perfect to make someone (read: an ex) jealous of your current status. No wonder all Whatsapp display pictures show happy people having cool lives most of the time. More than your profile, it’s a way of making people envious.

Deepak Gopalakrishnan

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