Whatsapp is a blessing, it helps you connect with people via messaging, keep in touch with long distance loves via calls and can now be used to send documents. Whatsapp groups were created to help you connect with multiple users simultaneously, this is perfect for planning events, family, friends, study groups, work projects and so on. For many people, these groups serve a great purpose especially when communicating with immediate family members. For others, it serves as a way to share jokes and light banter with friends.
But then Whatsapp groups are also the most abused form of social media (and this is where the curse comes in). Someone creates a whatsapp group and without notifying you, adds you to the group. It starts out innocently enough until you realise you got more than you unwittingly signed up for.
Meme upon meme will be shared, emoji festivals will be held and information you do not need will fill your phone. Thirsty guys will scope out your number from the group list and hit you up with a “How is you?”
You will leave and the admin will add you back because it is apparently unheard of to not want to be part of a group no one asked you to join. We may choose to stay in certain Whatsapp groups but let’s face it, nine out of ten times you do not want to be the ungroupy person who just ups and leaves. There is something about the whatsapp notification:
‘Janice has left group’ that invokes the sulky finality of a slammed door. So you stay, to the detriment of your sanity.
This must be the reason “How to Leave a Whatsapp Group Secretly” may be one of the most searched help topics about the app.
Here’s when you know it’s time to leave a Whatsapp group…
It’s proving to be a distraction
Every time you start working, sit down to read a book or try to listen to some music, that Whatsapp notification beeps. You will mute the group but it will still pop up on your screen and blink at you till you check your phone. Assuming it’s a group you are active in, you may feel the need to reply if it’s a question directed at you. By the time you get back to what you were doing, you realise you just wasted 20 minutes of your life dissecting a picture of a socialite trying to decide whether she has bleached skin or not. How the topic switched from ‘best SACCO to invest in’ to ‘Kardashians’ is a mystery only Whatsapp can answer. I am convinced there is some witchery involved in how fast topics and conversations evolve in these groups.
You turn into a dragon every time you engage
You are normally a peaceful person but pride yourself in being the one who calls out the BS when you see it. This never works out well on Whatsapp. This BS is usually in the form of a comment made innocently or in jest. So here you were having a pleasant afternoon when you suddenly find yourself caught up in a ‘wheef” (Whatsapp beef). Because text messages often do not possess the nuance of spoken speech, things you say or read may appear larger and more threatening than they actually are in real life and suddenly there you are, talons, red eyes and smoke… a modern-day-fire-breathing dragon clutching at a mobile device.
You don’t understand what is going on
Have you ever been in a Whatsapp group where you are just totally clueless on what is happening? Conversations are going on and stories are being shared but nobody can hear you, save for a nine year old boy who sees dead people? It feels like you have walked into the wrong classroom. You are the uncomfortable passenger squished between two talkative commuters because sometimes the whole group is silent and just two people keep it alive with their back and forth. It’s like belonging to a family of ghosts that still lives in the house they once occupied as living beings. It’s kinda sad.
You prefer a more intimate connection
Whatsapp groups have spawned what I call ‘friendship lite’. We are talking but not really talking. You share and joke in the group but nobody really calls the other to catch up or sets up any real dates to hang out. You feel that you are connecting but really, you are not. There are mornings you wake up to 300 messages and while scrolling through, realise there is nothing of substance being discussed. For some this works perfectly fine, their lives really are too busy for one on one and small talk is probably how they connect but for others, those who prefer deeper conversation, it all starts feeling very shallow, superficial and exhausting…a reason to start catching those Vivian Green feelings.
However, not all Whatsapp groups are pure evil, I have gotten great advice, tips, heads-up and connections via these groups. For women especially, they provide a point of reference for jobs, medical services, hair salons, best buys and moral support.
Still, if it’s not helping your life, like Aunt Viv said, it’s time go, time to leave.