Is There Such a Thing as WhatsApp Etiquette?
Whatsapp has become everyone’s favourite app on their phones. So much so that we now find it quite strange when someone says they are not on Whatsapp. With this kind of popularity, it is only normal to expect an entire communication culture to evolve around the app. No wonder then, that we tend to often get annoyed at (or annoy others) with some behavior while communication on such messaging apps. Here’s a quick list of guidelines that might make you champ at polite, but effective communication on Whatsapp:
Now! Now! Now!:
This is one the biggest issues we face when using whatsapp. As soon as we send a message, we expect a reply. If we don’t get an immediate response, we send another message right away. If you need an urgent response on something important, please call the person. At the same time, if someone messages you and you have the time to see the notification, do try and send an acknowledgment of it, if not a full-fledged response. Whatsapp is not a replacement for face to face conversations, so don’t expect it to work at the same pace.
When my friends text me without using any emoticons, I worry and ask them if everything is okay, or why they sound so serious. Emojis have become so integral to our conversation habits that we find talk without slightly less effective, on text. However, sense dictates the emojis may be a language by themselves, however, they cannot overtake text. Please limit the usage of emojis, and eliminate them altogether from serious or formal conversations (better still, don’t use whatsapp for formal communication). Emojis add to emotion of your words for sure, but don’t substitute them for the words!
Consistency in language and wording, even on text, will help you develop a distinct conversation identity. Try to use proper spelling and punctuations. Short forms and condensing words made sense at a time when texts weren’t free and thus we reduced the length. Now, whatsapp is free, hence there really is no excuse to typ lyk dis. Along with this, it makes far more sense to talk the talk in one message, rather than sending just one word or one phrase in one message, and bothering someone with multiple notifications for just one sentence. Consistency in communication will take you a long way.
Ungrouping the Groups:
Whatsapp groups are a cause of anxiety for so many people. While most groups start out with a very specific purpose, they soon start getting spammed. Especially when it comes to work-groups, stick only to the agenda of the group. Not everyone will appreciate your forwards, so choose your audience wisely. Also, if you are having a conversation with just one person on a group, it is wise to move it to your personal chat, so as to not swamp everyone else with notifications and messages. Be respectful of others.
Navigating conversations is tricky enough in real life. When conversing through a phone screen, things just tend to get more confusing, as you don’t non-verbal cues such as body language and expressions to help you, neither do you have voice and tone. Thus, keep your conversations under the broad guidelines we have listed above, and you will soon become everyone’s favourite texter!