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WhatsApp group etiquette – keeping the friendship alive

WhatsApp group types

WhatsApp grouping is one social forum that really comes in handy for cheaper, faster and easier communication. Many are the times the groups bring people together for either permanent or temporary needs. Running family, job or estate affairs is just but a finger away. An invisible panel converges to deliberate and make resolutions without much pressure thus saving on resources.

There exist two types of WhatsApp groups; permanent and temporary. I have come across several articles that concentrate on permanent WhatsApp group ethics.

Permanent groups somehow demand our continual presence for as long as we are associated with the main purpose of the group. For instance, we remain part of a family group by virtue of the fact that we are part of that family forever. We also cannot exit a colleague’s group for as long as we work in that organization; otherwise, we would miss out on relevant updates.

My views here lie more on temporary groups that are usually disbanded as soon as the need is met. Most of these groups are meant to aid in settling overstretched bills. Weddings, sickness, and death are some of the needs that call for temporary WhatsApp grouping.  

The little-understood shocks of social media

It’s been about five years since I bumped into a comprehensive article where the writer expressed the insensitive nature of Facebook posts especially those that pertain to injury or death. She was mostly concerned about people learning about their loved ones’ injury or death through social media.

I just can’t figure out how exactly she titled it, otherwise, I would attach it here. The message, however, wriggles in my mind any time I sense insensitivity on social media. Her post taught me a lesson I may never forget. Can you imagine logging onto Facebook and realizing someone very close to you has been involved in that horrible road accident you’re just learning about on social media? While in that state of disbelief, as you keep scrolling you notice it has already been shared several times yet nobody has told you about it? You then begin to call your buddies to confirm what the media tells you! It is horrific, traumatizing and confusing, to say the least.

Meanwhile, as we hit the share button in seconds, we usually presume we are trying to reach the concerned parties as fast as possible. But what exactly are we doing to the casualty’s loved ones? In reality, the message should be conveyed the other way round. Loved ones first and then the rest can get it from them.   

The other side of real life

Every social grouping comes with its challenges. The do’s and don’ts are somehow of personal prescription based on several factors. WhatsApp groups have had challenges too. Just like I learned something that accompanies my senses daily from an article of concern, I equally spread the gospel after numerous observations.

If you know what my website is all about, you must be wondering why I write this. Yeah! It’s still about spreading the word of God. Too much work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Consistent prayer without taking time off to critically look into issues affecting our daily lives denies us a chance to apply the prayer points.

Life is like a chameleon. One morning you wake up and everything seems to run so smoothly. Another time, every approach to make ends meet seems to slap you on the face and tosses you back to the point you want to run away from! Irrespective of status, everyone must have good and bad moments.

Something’s happening in your friend’s life and he needs your help. He requests to add you to a WhatsApp group towards that course and the only answer you can give is “yes, please do.” You really want to help but your source seems to be dry at that moment. The situation is demanding your support.

It’s an emergency and the timespan may lapse before you chip in. Deep inside, you feel obliged, you are stuck but cannot give an excuse. We all find ourselves in that dark corner. Unfortunately, we forget that we were once there when it’s another person’s turn to shift base to the dark corner.

Somehow, we all occasionally go through a situation others may know nothing about! That’s what life is anyway!

WhatsApp misdemeanors that can cause havoc

People begin to keep the treasurer busy by sending him money. He comes up with a list and posts it to the WhatsApp group. This is where the etiquette finds its way into my mind as I see a lot of disregard for slow contributors; of course not in all groups. Sometimes we act like some people are just refusing to pay! How I wish we could consider that the heart could be willing but the pocket may not provide at the time! We have all been there!

While it is important to ask for permission to add someone to a WhatsApp group, it does not warrant exiting as soon as we are added even if it was without our consent.

Imagine a group of two hundred and fifty people. Would it be possible to talk to each person before the add considering that such temporary groups are mostly created for emergency bills! I know you will argue that addition should be via a WhatsApp link but there has to be a starting point.

In most cases, you want to bring people together then write the first post explaining the purpose of the group and oops! Someone has just exited while you’re still doing the addition.

Effects of prematurely exiting WhatsApp groups

This is what happens when we exit as soon as we are added. It portrays us as selfish and anti-social. Naturally, our action never leaves the minds of those who needed our help at the time. They read the other side of us they never knew and tend to deal with us on that basis henceforth. That is not what God expects of us but you will agree with me that it happens.

Then there is the other lot that exits immediately after making their payment. For them, it’s all about money. Following proceedings and hanging around for moral support doesn’t make much sense to them. It’s not a better option either as the real human nature calls for the same when tables turn.

My final word

It’s important to courteously post reminders. At times, the unexpected crop up forcing members to unwillingly dishonor their pledges.

We all have quite a lot running in our minds such that the WhatsApp groups tend to be distractors at times but at least we need to humbly excuse ourselves before exiting. There is a next time and we do not know who will have to face it. Unity, especially during hard times, builds life-long relationships.

4 thoughts on “WhatsApp group etiquette – keeping the friendship alive

  1. You are so right. Sometimes we can be so selfish not to care what the other person feels. We assume that since online communication is not virtual, it doesn’t hurt. I feel guilty, but from today onwards, I will be careful. Keep doing it right!

    1. I’m here to open your eyes and wouldn’t mind you opening mine too. Nice to know you acknowledge you’ve made mistakes in this area, and are ready to rectify.

  2. I’ve never used WhatsApp before so this was a very interesting post. Granted this could be applied to all forms of group social media. We definitely shouldn’t be judging others based on if they helped put financially or not. As you stated they just might now have it, but may be able to give emotional support instead.

    1. Life is a give and take. Maybe today I just wanna take but tomorrow and the day after, I will be in a position to give. Thanks Ej for stopping by, taking your time to read and giving your opinion.

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