What about WhatsApp? Facebook parent company Meta’s popular messaging service has announced changes to its privacy settings.
he goal is to enable its two billion users to communicate more fluently – as opposed to the current situation where WhatsApp can feel like a sniffer on your phone.
These “optimizations” are quite far-reaching. Other users can no longer automatically detect when you are online (reducing the ability to keep track of people). And you can customize your settings to prevent users from taking screenshots of your messages.
Big Brother just got a little smaller. The goal, said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is “to keep finding new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.”
He’ll also, of course, consider that millions of WhatsApp users have abandoned the service for alternatives like Signal since the company was acquired by Facebook, then updated their privacy settings in ways that sounded complicated and felt nefarious.
This is absolutely fascinating. The real nugget, however, is that WhatsApp is set to introduce the option to leave a “group” without anyone noticing. You can already hear the great sigh of relief across cyberspace. WhatsApp groups are a great way to keep in touch with family, friends, and people with common interests.
However, they can also be a social minefield, making you feel trapped in an episode of cringe comedy Curb your enthusiasm. Here are a few examples.
The Neighborhood Group
Yes, connecting with those you share a community with is important. And when there have been break-ins or other dubious operations, WhatsApp can be invaluable in spreading the word.
But then there are times when it seems that this has become an area for humble boasting or passive aggression.
And then there are the people who use WhatsApp as a social outlet, chiming in with bizarre observations and questions.
The Children’s Activity Group
You got your reluctant kid camogie/judo/dubbed llama surfing on just that one occasion. But the friendly lady you contacted immediately added you to the WhatsApp group.
Of course, your kid hated every second of the organized fun you threw up and you haven’t shown your face since. Six months later, you will receive updates several times a day. You keep wanting to pull the plug, but then there’s a chance dozens of strangers will think you’re a quitter.
The work WhatsApp group
Yes, you have to go to a conference with some colleagues from the office. But do we have to make it official by freeing up WhatsApp space? It’s bad enough that you have to remember to get up early and travel a long distance. Now you have a constantly vibrating phone to boot.
Until now, the only way out was to “lose” the phone. Or quit your job. And as those WhatsApp vibrations keep piling up, the latter option is looking more and more appealing.
Plus, there are bonus points if you accidentally forward a message or picture to the group that is meant for someone else.
The lurking group
Too much WhatsApp banter isn’t good for anyone. But then there’s the reverse problem, where everyone takes a back seat and nobody has a say.
Just to add a little life to the discourse, maybe you’re the person who occasionally chimes in a joke or funny meme. It goes into emptiness – only to encounter disapproving silence. It’s as if your phone is silently judging you.
The Emoji Group
Emojis have their place – at the end of birthday cards and all over retro rave t-shirts. But we all know these groups in which only yellow “thumbs up” or smiling smileys are used to communicate.
Technology promised to bring us together. But at moments it feels like WhatsApp actively wants you to despair of those around you. Or to put it another way – massive eye roll emoji.
The WhatsApp group full of strangers
WhatsApp groups can have up to 512 members – far more people than anyone could ever keep track of. So if you get sucked into one of these sprawling groups, it can feel like you’re on Facebook without the pictures.
You will be drawn into one-on-one conversations – knowing that dozens, hundreds of others may be listening. Unless you secretly went – which you can now.
https://www.independent.ie/life/whatsapp-groups-we-all-secretly-want-to-leave-41906370.html We all secretly want to leave WhatsApp groups