Wednesday, 26 April 2017

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is surely the opposite of therapy. It plays into paranoia and turns us into phone-checking fiends. It makes us suspicious, impatient, controlling.
Obviously I use it constantly. (Read the blog title).

And yes, yes - I know what you’ll say. You’ll tell me that I can turn off those horrid blue ticks so that no one will ever know that I'm ignoring their brunch invite or don't know how to respond to their bad day at work. And I did try that once. But there's a fatal flaw to the plan...

Turning off the blue ticks means that you can’t see anyone else's ticks.

And by the time you’ve used WhatsApp for a while you are addicted to those ticks. They reveal your friends to be either slow and rude (me) or irritatingly prompt (the sort of people who remember birthdays) - it’s dynamite, it's power.

The once-casual WhatsApp-user is therefore stuck with a terrible dilemma. We want so badly to know when someone has read our messages so that we can be annoyed when we don’t get a response, because - "I KNOW YOU’VE SEEN MY MESSAGE, WHY AREN’T YOU REPLYING".

But then someone sends you a long one and suddenly the shoe is on the other foot. Those two perky, blue-betrayers reveal that yes, I have seen your message, and no, I am not too busy to reply (I am never too busy), I simply cannot be bothered to talk to you. You can try not to click on that particular chat, but eventually you're sure to do it by accident.

How am I expected to adapt to this instant gratification and the constant disappointment of my friends?

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