Whatsapp. Social fosterer or butcher?

Is the new age technology era making social gathering less necessary these days?

Take whatsapp. It seems to give us an excuse not to meet up because we can just whatsapp to “drop in” to check up on each other without the “trouble” of meeting up.

I squeeze my brains to remember the old days where relationships were a lot stronger. Then I recall, because sms were not free or unlimited, we just gave each other a “Wanna meet this Thurs?” and then actually meet on Thursday to catch up.

Meeting up with physical presence encourages bonding over new information, no? It feels like these  days when I meet up, because we have already chatted so much over whatsapp, when we meet up, sometimes, we have nothing to talk about. And that makes me sad. Then I wonder why when friends that I have not met for a while or whatsapp-ed and I meet up, we seem to connect so much better and have a lot more to talk or laugh about. This is strange, is it just me? On the other hand, I got to give some justice to Whatsapp. It defi has its pros and cons.

1.  Creates a groupchat and includes like 10 over people

Pros: Easier than email ; Inclusive ; Allows the outspoken to speak and the introverts to read ; Real time bonus.

Cons: If you go offline and then go back on again, be ready to face 500+ unread msgs. 

2. Free
Pros: Hello, it’s free. Need I say more?

Cons: Free comes with a small “manners” price. If you read a message but do not feel like replying, the other party would still know you have read the message because of the double tick. Then you feel bad for not replying or knowing how to end an awkward conversation that you have no idea how to continue on. Or be annoyed that you replied and then not get a reply although, you now know they have seen and read your message but choose not to reply you, which makes you wonder about the quality and the appropriateness of your words. Bad for over thinkers.

3. Easier access to everyone and allows constant “checking in” to “catch up” with someone

Pros: You and the other party can be at the furthest opposite ends of this planet but with the flick on your phone to connect with the wifi, you can send pictures of your surroundings and chat endlessly. I really enjoy this feature, especially helpful for travel lovers to keep in touch with their loved ones. This is also great for the busy bees who have no time to meet (Remember how society tries to kill us with no work life balance), just get busy with those fingers and you feel less guilty of having to make a rain check on that date, yet again. (Yes, I am guilty of this). And saves money for the lunch/dinner meals or drinks incurred when a meet up is planned.

Cons: Bad because of the pros it provides! I am extremely frustrated the trap this causes, and how I have walked into the trap, giving excuses! I have cancelled on dates because of the busyness of life and decided whatspp conversations to make up for it instead. This has caused relationships to lose a personal touch of “closeness”. I think this point really irks me. Bad. On one hand, it makes me less guilty for meeting up only once a month and substituting the would be meet ups with lengthy conversations on whatsapp when life blurs away with work and such. On the other hand, when I actually do meet up, I realize I actually know a lot already about their updates, I probe a bit more on their updates but thats about it. It feels like we have “met” daily so its not new information, yet not exactly. The closeness that a meet up would bring is lost. This results in a dilemma for me, all the people who face this problem, put your hands up so I feel I am not the weirdo of this techno-advanced age.

Solution

I am going to cut down on whatsapp messages. Instead, I will go one week and say “Hey wanna catch up” and then experience how different the catch up this time round will be. I anticipate it to be filled with more news and insights exchanged. Let me embark on this personal research.  Till then, stay tuned!

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