You wake up in the morning, expecting an amazing selfie from your partner in the inbox, only to realise that the Family Whatsapp group has more than 20 flower pics to wish you good morning.
Did you know that Indians’ obsession for sending ‘Good Morning’ messages is leading to one in three smartphone users in India run out of space on their phones daily?
According to The Wall Street Journal, there ‘has been a 10-fold increase in the number of Google searches for ‘Good Morning images over the past five years.According to the report, a survey by data-storage firm Western Digital found that one in three smartphone users in India run out of space daily compared with one in 10 in the US.
But who will convey the severity of this problem to that aunt in the Family WhatsApp group who insists on sending every forward which says that karela juice is good for your eyes or that you can quit smoking by eating carrots? Who will tell your uncle that you have run out of polite comments to her forwards of romantic shayari and anti-feminist jokes.
Do you also just keeping sending blunt smileys to all forwards on family WhatsApp group?
Some are more fortunate. Amrapali Shelar’s family WhatsApp group is disciplined and efficient. No forwards, no lengthy advice posts. Just functional messages when family members reach destination and important updates of each member’s health status. She is the daughter of a police officer, married to a Major General in Indian army. It cannot get more formal and protocol-driven than this.
But all family WhatsApp groups are not so purpose driven.
WhatsApp groups have become an essential feature of modern families. You can’t leave them safely once you are added. You have to remain a part of the group as an obligation, even if you are not very active on them.
There are very helpful during family emergencies, but otherwise they spend your data and clog your WhatsApp with relentless notifications. When Bhogilal Vora, a serial forwardist to many family groups is asked what motivated him to send relentless pics of each and every object, from the supermoon to the tulips of Kashmir, he said, “it is nice to be nice. When I see something interesting, I am sure others will also find it interesting and helpful. I am retired, and can now help people in my free time. WhatsApp allows me to be helpful to so many people.”
Image Credit: Shughal
But even the Royal Family of England has a WhatsApp group. And with two royal weddings to take place this Spring (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank) and two royal babies on the way (Kate and Will and Mike and Zara themselves), there’s certainly lots to keep track of.
Uppal Shah, director at an IT and digital consultancy firm, has kept aside a dedicated number for WhatsApp, on which 19,000 messages are left unread. But all of us cannot go this way. Try not reading a message once. You are bound to be questioned like a terminal exam by an uncle on his forward at the next family function.
Or worse still, try exiting the group. You can win big money by betting that you will be added within two minutes if you try exiting a family WhatsApp group.
Image Credit: Movie – Hum Saath – Saath Hain
In India, family WhatsApp groups have become an extension of families themselves. For the first time in their lives, different generations of Indians are finding themselves mashed together in an online chat room, and younger Indians say they’re struggling to figure out what the dynamic for interaction should be.
Janice Rodrigues, a reporter in a local daily in Goa, faced a major digital family drama. Her family group had to be dissolved after the member took offence at a post, and got into a war of words. With members of different ages and genders put together, it became difficult to monitor posts, and cater to people’s sentiments.
Whereas Mihir Dedhia, a commerce student in Mumbai feels that life is already so isolated, that WhatsApp is a good way to reconnect to family members. His cousins, aunts and uncles are very inactive on the family group, and he wishes that they would respond more often.
When an uncle sends a sexist joke, should you intervene, or send a sad emoji. The millennial feminists are finding it hard to keep mum on the group, when traditional debates are revived by forwards.
Saket Shah, a school administrator in Bhopal, and Mausam Vishwa, a drummer in Mumbai, take the zen way by taking a balanced view of the family WhatsApp group. They both keep the group on mute, see forwards, and ignore the lengthy videos and health manual type forwards. Sending an occasional thumbs-up emoji and a smiley enables their presence on the group without putting in much effort.
Image Credit: businessinsider
Urban, millennial Indians say that WhatsApp groups are digital reincarnations of these joint families that they just aren’t used to living in any longer.
So, what do you do? The easiest way is to mute them out. When you can’t reply with a satisfying answer, that will help to bridge the traditional age-gap on the modern platform, mute is your best option.
Read Also: Google’s Cool New App Can Delete All Those ‘Good Morning’ Pics From Your WhatsApp Folder
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