I have been away from my phone for 45 minutes. There are 127 WhatsApp notifications. The stress.
This is not a ‘pity me with my hundreds of friends’ vibe, by the way, I’m just in some very active WhatsApp groups. In 2017, I presume even the most anti-social amongst us are struggling with the hyperactive WhatsApp.
So here’re the all too real struggles of your average WhatsApp user.
The F*cking Blue Tick
That damn blue tick is like setting a stopwatch in motion. Working both for and against us, the blue tick is a ticking time bomb. It’s gotten to the stage where I am fearful of opening incoming WhatsApps because I know that my response will be expected within a certain time frame. Equally, I have been on the other side of this, staring at a blue tick and fretting myself into oblivion over why my message is going unanswered. “She’s seen the message, why is she not responding? Is she busy? Does she hate me? Answer meeeeeeeee!” Needy much? Yes, yes I am.
The Group You Hate
Hating life as a WhatsApp group member seems to be the norm. Everyone has the group they hate, be it the school parents group or the obligatory family WhatsApp. The biggest problem as I see it is that there is no soft exit from a WhatsApp group. The only option is the rather stark and damning “Sophie has left the group”. There should be an option to amend the wording of this to be something milder and less like we are storming out. Something like “Sophie is ambling away for a bit of quiet time because 82 WhatsApp notifications about the new school uniform prices are getting to be a bit depressing, okay byeeeeeeeeeee”.
Any solid WhatsApp group will always have a few juicy sidebars on the go to dissect the discussion of the main group. If you don’t know this then I have some news for you: YOU are likely the topic up for discussion in a catty sidebar. You’re welcome. Of course, sidebars lead to ever more sidebars, this is why Whatsapp groups are like Russian Dolls of angst and bitchiness. Just for God’s sake be careful when posting some damning commentary. You don’t want that catty remark about Saoirse’s hen party to accidentally slide into the wrong WhatsApp group and get that unnerving feeling when a group goes suddenly quiet.
The Unnerving Feeling When A Group Goes Quiet
Oh yes, it’s pretty freaky when a formerly chatty thread goes as quiet as a toddler drawing on the bedroom wall with your favourite Chanel lipstick. If you were in a pretty active WhatsApp group that has gone quiet, then it is likely you’ve been ghosted out of the group. They moved on and created a different group. These are the harsh realities of WhatsApp etiquette, it’s basically 5th class all over again but with more pictures of engagement rings.
The Deep Tangents
Sometimes a WhatsApp will go deep tangent. Be careful of the deep tangent. Sometimes it’s a heartwarming trip down memory lane or sometimes someone will inadvertently blurt out a spoiler and RUIN Game Of Thrones for someone else (sorry Saoirse). Another issue is, of course, the Deep Tangents that hold no interest for you. For much of the Summer, for example, Love Island has dominated the WhatsApp chat. I kept thinking that they would move on to something else like Handmaid’s Tale where I have greater expertise but no, week, after week Love Island debriefs, were the order of the day. At one point I nearly decided to watch it just to get back in with the group but couldn’t really stomach all the hunks and hunkettes. At this point, I sought solace in the school parents group who were having a good old, two-day-long b*tch about the cost of the October school tour to Bunratty Castle.
Sophie Has Left The Group