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Tosin Abiodun: Deliver Us From WhatsApp

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I left a Whatsapp group recently. I wanted to reclaim my peace of my mind, and I really needed to stop seeing large numbers like 345 or 492 on my missed notifications. Un-cleared notifications make me anxious. I don’t know why, but there’s just something very untidy about it and I like my phone looking peaceful and not chaotic.

Obviously Whatsapp didn’t let me leave quietly, it announced to all 73 members:

* Tosin has left the group*
Maybe it’s just me but there’s something sarcastic and almost malicious about the way that announcement is written and the way it’s read in people’s minds, almost like:
* Tosin has left the group- because she thinks you are all talking rubbish
* Tosin has left the group- because she thinks she’s better than all of you
* Tosin has left the group- because you annoyed her

I swear, I almost feel the app can read my mind sometimes.

And then you start getting messages like this from fellow group members:
” You left the group, why now?”
” I hope we didn’t do anything to offend you”
“What are you even feeling like?”
” You could have just muted the group, you didn’t have to leave altogether”

Yes, captain obvious, I know I could have just muted it; but there is this ‘by force’ feeling when you are part of a group. You feel obligated to contribute, you cringe when someone sends an unfunny joke or a useless broadcast and you almost want to respond to put them in check.

And then if you belong to multiple groups, which I suspect we now all do, there’s the fear of sending the wrong message or media to the wrong group.

I hate WhatsApp.

Actually I don’t, I can’t.

WhatsApp has become indispensable to my personal life and business *rolls eyes*. I belong to six groups at the moment, two of which I paid to join (*covers head in shame*). Okay, Okay I’m learning a language in one and the other gives me access to an international business network. Thankfully, they don’t feel the need to be so chatty, they simply pass along information when necessary.

Apart from the bane of WhatsApp groups, there is the curious case of people who are not on your contact list who just creep into your phone and send you unsolicited broadcast messages and happy new month messages. And the ones who just video call you out of the blue because they can. I know one can choose to pick up the call or not but it’s the thought behind it that irks me. It’s invasive and annoying. I mean all I did was give you my phone number and now you think you’ve earned the right to see me with my wig off.

Plus there’s the fact that you don’t recognise all the people and stuff in your photo gallery because you don’t remember when you downloaded them.

And then our parents discovered Whatsapp and that was the birth of by force family groups and fake news broadcasts. I will not be surprised if you have actually considered blocking your parents because of this. I know I have.

The list is endless, I could go on and on about how this ubiquitous little green app has taken on a life of its own and become so important in our everyday lives. Causing trouble, bringing people together, helping people learn new things, building and ruining relationships all at the same time.

Receive the boldness to exit that Whatsapp group or block that contact today, if you must. There’s plenty more where they came from, I don’t think we are getting rid of that app any time soon.

Photo Credit: © Tommaso79 | Dreamstime

Tosin Abiodun is a communications strategist & entrepreneur. In her spare time, she writes advertising copy for small businesses. Follow her on Instagram @trulytosin.

26 Comments

  1. Ayo Al

    October 13, 2017 at 6:22 am

    This was a lovely read. I was actually thinking of exiting a group too!

  2. Osa

    October 13, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Social group chats like former classmates whatsapp groups are the worst.

    Some people have made it a strict duty to contribute and chat on an hourly basis. They feel the need to talk every 30 mins literally. You would think their lives depended on talking endlessly in the group or contributing to every topic. Its plain to see that some people have no jobs to attend to and are being financed from some free source .

    Group chats are not so bad. Its the endless perpetual talkers that make them somewhat irritating

    • Fols

      October 13, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      In fact my dear…! The worst is when by some miracle, the group I quiet for a few hours, only for someone to come and say, “ah ah, why is this place like a graveyard today?”…and off we go, back into delirium! Why not let sleeping people lie?!

  3. but nobody forced you now

    October 13, 2017 at 8:54 am

    but nobody forced you to join them now
    You joined on your own accord
    If you feel its useless, simply exit

    From the writeup, it is mostly what you think “they think” about you. You are not in their minds to know what they are thinking. Is guilt conscience disturbing you? Block them anyhow and you dont need to write an article to justify/absolve yourself

    life aint that difficult

    cheers

    • Xyz

      October 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      It’s like you’ve never been “forced” into a whatsapp group before. I have. You will leave and they’ll re-add you. If you like leave a hundred times you’ll be re-added a hundred times. You block one person the other one will add you. It’s crazily annoying.
      I’m currently serving and I was added to my cds group’s whatsapp group. It has revealed to me that the future of Nigeria is in trouble. They discuss rubbish, type unreadable words, grammar on another level. I just had to leave.

    • Tosin Abiodun

      October 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      LOL! I have been added to groups I didn’t want to join and respect for the admin didn’t let me leave. It’s very possible to be forced into one because permission isn’t really needed.

  4. FinchleysFinest

    October 13, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I was just thinking about leaving this WhatsApp group….. the annoying one is when youre eating or you’re about to sleep…and someone randomly sends MonkeyPox pictures or some disgusting image to the group….. I nearly cried when that happened last week.. and the dude that posted it didnt apologise after i complained…. to think the group was created for a purpose o. Hian…world people.

  5. Mio

    October 13, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Hahahhaha…. Lovely read

  6. Sakura

    October 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Lol!!!! I exit Groups boldly and proudly.

  7. Muyiwa

    October 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

    This is so apt. I once left a whatsapp group when someone sent a video of a terrorist beheading someone. Infact the video has downloaded by itself (no thanks to wifi) and saw it when i was checking my video gallery. i just found It is gory. it was disgusting. I couldn’t fathom why someone would feel the need to be insensitive and share such. I also left another when someone sent a video of a group of girls defecating on themselves apparently on some fetish activity. I felt so disgusted. Why? Why? the yeye administrator kept re-adding me each time i left that i had to send him a message personally not to re add me.

  8. bolintin

    October 13, 2017 at 10:02 am

    everything you said about watzapp group is just so me. the only difference is I feel obligated to stay with the ones I have once identified with. but any new one I just exit immediately.
    Thankfully I intentionally used my secondary line for social media so I may not see these chats in 3 weeks.

  9. Funmilola

    October 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

    That’s how I was on my own jejely the other only to see a notification that i’ve been added to one group like that…..”law and business” group.
    as in Ehn, I just tire.

  10. Anonymous

    October 13, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Hahaha… I loved this write up. Its everything inside me that I’ve not been able to articulate. I finally summoned the courage to leave a group and like you, I started getting the personal messages. They asked me what I’m feeling like or if anyone offended me. Why??? Ugh

  11. Tutu

    October 13, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Loool! I saw a viral video once. Some dude was talking on the phone and was saying “You don’t leave a Whatsapp group! It’s rude” I laughed so hard! So there’s Whatsapp group etiquette now, Okay. I leave Whatsapp groups all the time. For the reasons you mentioned above. There’s even one I want to leave now but I really respect the person that added me, I don’t want to upset her. I’ve muted it but I still keep getting messages. They just talk rubbish all day long. Mschewwww!

  12. Ephi

    October 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

    So many funny comments here, please keep them coming! haha
    Thank goodness I don’t use whatsapp, I still maintain my bbm app where I have control over who I add and don’t add. No energy abeg.

  13. o

    October 13, 2017 at 11:57 am

    WhatsApp needs a retract option

    • Chic

      October 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Exactly, i need the retract option..
      Anyways, to avoid unnecessary distraction from the groups, I simply put them on mute, or worse case I exit the group. It’s my data and my phone, so I can do that.

  14. I agree

    October 13, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I totally agree with this article, the comment about nobody forced you to join is totally wrong, some of these admins feel it is okay to add you in a group with seeking your consent, cuz they feel you should be in the group, and when you intend to leave, they would take it to the wrong direction. Which causes a lot of dilemma, so yes we are sometimes forced into this groups.

  15. Diane

    October 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I feel like I wrote this article, honestly you hit the nail on the head

  16. bellababy

    October 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    The most annoying one is the fake job post
    “”please foward , you might be helping someone in need””
    Nestoil is urgently looking for quality control supervisors
    Send your cv to [email protected]“”
    meanwhile, Issa lie.
    How do people sit down and construct lies and begin circulating?

  17. Sansarai

    October 13, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    How about WhatsApp groups purely for marketing purposes? I’ve been added to a Whatsapp group by Spectranet twice! I just found myself in the group with about 100 other similarly confused people…we were all asking why we were pulled into the group without notice. The group name was something like “Spectranet bonus offers” or some BS like that. I was sooo pissed but don’t even know who to report Spectranet to

  18. debs

    October 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    story of my life….
    sadly, my mum is a culprit. i guess its because she just started using a smart phone. her broadcasts ehn no get part two
    after reading, she will now sit and want to be gisting about every article…chai
    and when i refuse to read/listen, she will accuse me of feeling like i know it all
    iya mi..lol

    • The real dee

      October 14, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Ah those Broadcasts! My mother in law was a culprit. She’ll send me a story and pictures of how St. Louis sugar was infected with a disease, or how some people have started mixing pork with Fanta, or how radiation from your phone can cause cancer.
      She’ll now call me and say, ‘did you see that broadcast, won ni ka ye je sugar yen o (they said we should stop eating that sugar o), blah blah blah’. Or if I send her a video, she’ll call and start asking me how they did it, blah blah blah.
      I just got tired one day and told her, I don’t read WhatsApp messages and I don’t watch the videos. That’s how she stopped.

      I don’t even read broadcasts again and I delete videos or pictures immediately. Rubbish videos and pictures that save automatically on the phone. Of course, no more groups. I remove myself and delete the group.

  19. obolo

    October 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    There was one group i exited cos the admin felt it was compulsory to comment on everything said. She will mention names of those who have not commented and threaten to take them off the group. Like we are kids. Threats everyday…being bossy left right centre……mtcheeeeeeewww

  20. Chichi

    October 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    To the author
    Can you tell us the name of the WhatsApp group you paid to get international business contract and how to join. Thanks

  21. anonymous

    October 14, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    story of my life ni o!

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