WHAT’S UP WITH WHATSAPP?

You must have heard by now that Whatsapp is (finally) available on your desktop. Calm down iOS users, it doesn’t work on iOS devices, yet.

I’m not sure what came to your mind but the first thought I had was: Wasn’t it enough to have it in our phones? Don’t get me wrong, I love using Whatsapp. It’s a great invention and I haven’t found another platform that performs as well as it does for cross geographical communication.

But a huge amount of my waking hours is devoted to reading and responding to my Whatsapp chat groups which include my sisters, family, extended family, girlfriends, church mates, wedding planning committee, colleagues, and even hair modelling services (let’s not even go into the odd names we give our chat groups). And it’s not as though we’re engaging in serious discussions about life and death. Most of the time, Whatsapp conversations can be senseless, trivial, and downright distracting. Notifications flood in from dawn till dusk, even into the wee hours of the morning, and then the cycle repeats itself.

I know some friends who have resorted to muting their group chats. While I have not thought about doing so just yet, there’s always been the temptation to watch and wait for responses.

Typing…
Delivered to…
Read by…
Last seen today at …

So how much good can come out of having Whatsapp on desktop too? It may seem like this introduction will strip away our ability to be efficient and productive at work and cause us to become addicted chatters. But that assumption is far too simplistic, for we each have the choice to use it in however manner we want to. It is ultimately, not about Whatsapp, but the question of how we’re using it. Even Whatsapp itself hopes it can be a boon and not a bane: “We really hope you find [our] Web client useful in your everyday lives.”

Maybe we can begin by thinking how to use this useful platform in a more purposeful manner. Here are some questions to ponder upon:

  • Can I use it to build meaningful relationships?
  • Can it be a source of encouragement and support to others and not foolish talk (Ephesians 5:4)?
  • Can it be a place where testimonies and life-transforming stories are exchanged?

For now, I’m glad I’m using an Apple device.

Photo credit: Jan Persiel / Foter / CC BY-SA

 

 

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