Saturday, June 18, 2016

The futility of a lot of Whatsapp groups



The Verge reported recently that the number of Whatsapp and Facebook messenger messages per day was three times that of the humble SMS. Around 60 billion Whatsapp and FB messenger messages are sent daily worldwide compared to only 20 billion text messages!

When I look at my Chats tab in Whatsapp on my iPhone, I find a whole lot of them are group chats. While some of these groups are useful and actually serve as a very useful communication tool, a large number of them are very quiet or worse - overactive with junk. Meaningless gibberish in the form of advice on life, irritating stock pictures of nature with enough 'gyaan' to put a sage to shame and sickening jokes that are not at all funny plague most Whatsapp groups that do not have strict rules in place about not posting such spam.

The Unreal Times, a source of news that is as reputed as The Verge estimates that almost two-thirds of the messages on Whatsapp are junk that make no sense at all. Ok, I made that up.

But honestly, I have most of my Whatsapp groups on Mute for the next one year. And as soon as they become unmuted after the year, I plan to mute them again, if possible forever. You might ask why I cannot simply leave the group? Trouble is I've been added by close friends who would be offended if I left. There's a price one must pay for everything in this world!

Another large number of groups are deafeningly silent. You need to literally shake them into being active. Now these are where your close friends or family are. You like communicating with them. You want to stay in touch. This is a great avenue to do this. But people get so busy with their day to day lives that they don't have time for such groups. Maybe they should be just destroyed!

I think the presence of the junk Whatsapp groups partially cause the good groups to become silent. People are just too fatigued by the sheer number of messages they get.

Which makes me think, maybe Whatsapp should charging a very small amount for each message sent. That way, people would use it sensibly and not post meaningless crap that irritates the hell out of everyone. 

2 comments:

Karthik Rao said...

Excellent conclusion. Can't agree more.

Vishal Gadhia said...

Yes very true Kamal...same thing going in my mind for a long time.