As we stay indoors, we’ve begun to rely steadfastly on Whatsapp- a mobile chatting app, to stay connected with the outside world. Even before coronavirus, Whatsapp was the bedrock of communication for personal connections, work and simple networking. After coronavirus, however, it seems to have become the focal point for spread of any kind of information- humorous, explanatory or fake.
Since I spend an inordinate amount of time on Whatsapp on a daily basis, I’ve had plenty of time to think about its structure and general outlay.
HERE ARE THE TYPES OF GROUPS YOU’LL ENCOUNTER ON WHATSAPP:
- FAMILY GROUPS
You may have heard people complain about family Whatsapp groups in the past. They can certainly be annoying with endless “good morning” messages or the influx of bad jokes. However, these family Whatsapp groups have become extremely important after lockdown. We can’t go anywhere, nor can we share stories in social environments, hence, these family groups are fulfilling the need to share mundane daily news and information with loved ones.
Old photos are shared, people show off their new-found culinary skills and uplifting jokes, on my family groups.
- FRIEND GROUPS
On a similar note, friends’ groups have also become more active since lockdown began. Most people are part of a ‘school’/ ‘college’ group, which tends to stay silent for long periods of time, unless someone makes a plan to meet. With lockdown, everyone is stuck at home, and so we chat more frequently, plan online Zoom parties and play online games together.
- WORK GROUPS
Though I don’t practice law full-time, I’m still part of my ex-office’s Whatsapp group where people share jokes and wish each other happy birthday. That group has become an important source of credible information after lockdown, where government guidelines and their analysis is shared. The humorous aspect continues as well, of course!
- SCHOOL GROUPS
As the Class Representative of my son’s Nursery class, I’m the administrator of the official school Whatsapp group. There are a number of unofficial groups as well, where fun activities for children are shared, virtual playdates are set up and frank discussions about the school and its lockdown policies take place with fellow parents.
For students stuck at home, these groups probably play an important role in discussing online lessons and homework, and helping each other out.
- COMMON ACTIVITY GROUPS
This is a rather broad classification, but I find myself part of various groups simply because of certain activities I participate in. This includes my gym’s group where exercise regimes and other health information is shared; my writer’s group and book club that share important information sidelined by mainstream media; my women’s club that shares uplifting messages for difficult times; my fellow course-mates from the financial course I’m taking online, where we discuss homework and other money related issues. Each of these serves as willing distractions from my daily stresses.
- BLOGGING GROUPS
Surprisingly, these constitute the largest number in totality, of all my Whatsapp groups. Many of them are mutual engagement groups, some target mutual growth through discussion and blogging campaigns, and a few simply connect friends made through blogging.
- GAMING GROUPS
I’m not much of a gamer, but coronavirus has changed that! I’ve been added on to a couple of online gaming groups since lockdown began, where people can coordinate convenient times to play online games together. The ultimate easy and quick distraction from the stresses of life!
- BROADCAST LISTS
These can be quite annoying as they’re mostly marketing ploys for businesses going online. However, I’ve volunteered to be part of a “Gratitude Broadcast List”, and I simply love the positive messages sent there every single day. Perhaps, there’s merit to broadcast lists after all!
- CORONAVIRUS GROUPS
This one is clearly a new category. I’m part of one Covid-19 group where people share the latest research and information about the spread of the coronavirus disease, and measures to combat it. Some of the articles offer interesting insight into the political aspects of this global crisis, bolstering the limited news we are exposed to in India. I voluntarily joined this group, because I process information best having consumed an excess of it, and by examining every fact from different angles. However, I know that everyone isn’t like that, so I advise you to stay away from coronavirus information groups if reading too much on the disease, makes you anxious.
Do you identify with these nine categories of Whatsapp groups? How many are you a part of? Does it feel like sometimes Whatsapp is taking over your life?! I definitely feel that sometimes. As soon as the A to Z Challenge is over, I’m going to take a much-needed break from social media.
Here’s my tip to beat the lockdown blues today:
Declutter your Whatsapp groups. Once you go through your entire list, you’ll be surprised to find numerous groups you have been added to, that no longer serve their purpose. Exit and delete these, to clear space on your phone as well as in your head 🙂
As for TV show recommendations, here are a couple with the letter W:
“Will & Grace” is about the lovely friendship shared between a straight woman and a gay man. “Whose Line is it Anyway?” is the ultimate Improvisation comedy show. Both were firm favourites during my teenage years! Unfortunately, neither are available on streaming platforms in India.
As for a book, here’s one I think you’ll enjoy:
“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte is a classic that will stay with you for its haunting portrayal of unrequited love and its beautifully-etched characters.
That’s all for today folks! I’m super excited that we are in the final week of this challenge- are you?!
Please check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter W?
(Auf) Weidersehen till tomorrow! (farewell in German)
This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up. Read my other posts here:
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