There are days when WhatsApp seems to rule my life. Neither my work diary, nor my to-do list, curated into “must”, “should” and “feck it”, nor the rigid lists from physical education to shopping.
K, so I’m organized. Super organized maybe if you ask a few people. Hyperpedantic, if you listen to those who see time as a concept and fixed arrangements as a suggestion.
I’m constantly distracted by one of those hellish, ubiquitous WhatsApp groups that I’m (mostly accidentally) grouped in.
“You were admitted for John’s 50th birthday!” I’m told, or “Mary’s Dinner”, or “Cork Trip”, “Collection for Peter’s farewell” or “Neighborhood campaign against foxes”.
By the way, I’m not joking about it.
I have notifications disabled; no easy feat, let me tell you. Depressingly, when I check in now, I find 35 new notifications for the trip, 15 for the gift, and eight for a dinner where no one can decide where to eat.
As for etiquette, nobody seems to have gotten the memo.
Here’s a thread from a specific local community group: “Anyone know when Garda Station opens?”. Good query, right?
There is no indication that the writer is lying face down in a pool of blood and desperately needs the boys in blue’s attention. The first eight answers are something like “No, sorry”, “No, neither am I”, “Oh, sorry Joan, I’m not”, “No”, “Oops, no, I’m sorry” , “Let me know if you find out as Barry’s passport is out and we’re flying to France next month”, “Me too, thanks”, and “Dunno”.
Before you know it, even if someone happened to know that it was actually 9am, except on Tuesdays, you’d never find the answer you needed in the ensuing cacophony of nonsense.
School parent groups, I am reliably informed, are the absolute worst. ‘Has anyone the Irish homework for Mrs Murray’s class?’ followed by 26 ‘No sorry’, several ‘There was homework?’ and a handful of ‘Page 16 and a poem I think’, a ‘Caoimhe has measles and wasn’t there’ and typically a smug ‘We don’t believe in compulsory Irish’.
It’s a slew of political, social and psychological commentary on everything from Irish lessons to the futility of homework to measles cures that would crowd a phone radio show for a week.
And the cross-contamination of groups! There’s “family” which could just be your children, your siblings or in-laws or parents, but why have one when you can have four or 14? You find yourself WhatsApping the same people in multiple groups, often about the same thing. And that’s the horror of WhatsApping the wrong group about something that only the others should be privy to.
Of course, leaving is fraught with social faux pas.
First of all, it is public and will be immediately questioned.
“RU okay hun?” through several private messages. And soon, what do you know, there’s a “Is Sinead OK?” WhatsApp group set up.
The birthday is over, the trip is over and we had dinner.
can i go now please
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/need-more-text-groups-in-your-life-theres-an-app-for-that-41870429.html Need more text groups in your life? There’s an app for that…