Are you a Groupie or Loner?
The latest trends, fashion, gossip, breaking news, love affairs, announcements, cheesy videos, inspirational quotes and so much more can easily be found at the tip of your smart phone. This is called WhatsApp. This revolutionary application has killed others, replaced the mobile phone calling system and walked into some people’s lives as a friend or third person.
Imagine your mum was organizing a lunch and had to invite a few of her friends, back in the 80s. She would pick up the landline and call each one of them, invite, explain and get an RSVP. Now look at yourself, you want to invite a few friends and what do you do? Create a poster, make a WhatsApp group of those selected friends, post the poster and wait for a discussion to ensue. Those who can’t make it or are not interested are faced with a dilemma, shall I say it here in front of everybody and leave this group or hang on till last minute and then make the move?
That’s what WhatsApp groups are generally doing nowadays. Your friend or family member adds you on to a group for whatever theme/reason/event and the announcements start.
The advantages are quite a few, before you dismiss this kind of communication, such as:
- You are all in the same picture or on the same page
- Your opinion is heard or seen by all in the respective group
- You can easily keep up to date with any developments and where help is needed you can volunteer or provide a solution
- You are a groupie and feel a part of the theme/reason/event
The disadvantages are:
- You don’t get along with everybody on this group but you have to pretend so you don’t get caught out
- Your opinion can seem biased or too much. No interaction can also mean you are outdated, arrogant or too busy
- Not providing a solution or offering help can mean you don’t care
- You are dragged down disruptive messages and even though you are meant to be a part of “group” you feel “lonely”
These kinds of groups can be dangerous because they bring out the bad side or sometimes the reality of communication and relationships.
These kinds of groups can be effective, if the face to face communication and relationship is already quite good. Thus, the group is more of an informant space or like a notice board.
These kinds of groups are effective for Security alerts, religious groups/events calendar/announcements or community/estate groups. Essential information can be shared or discussed because you need to know what’s happening around you and this is easily possible.
When it comes to using it for business purposes, note that while it is cool, it may be irritating too. You don’t have the right to add anybody you like, even though it is technologically possible and then start posting photos of the latest shoes, cakes, furniture and so on that you are selling. Sure, if you want to reach your market like this, leave it up to the customer to ask to be joined into this group because they are genuinely interested in your product. Don’t force them and then don’t feel bad when they leave, it is not that personal.
Communication at the end of the day, no matter what medium you use, always remember be respectful and treat others the way you want to be treated.