The first thing I do in morning is not to pray to God for another wonderful morning, or thank him for the two beautiful kids I have or plan for the day ahead or think about my health and do some exercise or yoga. The first thing I do is switch on the Wi-Fi and see the number of messages I have in WhatsApp. I may or may not read them immediately but then I cannot start my day without doing this chore religiously. It’s an addiction, the addiction to technology. There are so many groups and so many people (sorry friends) who keep posting forward messages or discuss some topic just like in any other forum. But when I need a friend, do I have any of these virtual people around?
The addiction does not end with just getting up and checking the messages. It lasts through the day. While having breakfast or lunch or dinner, while working in office, while helping my kids with their homework, the subtle presence is always there. The desire to know if there is a new message however irrelevant it may be. The desire to know the new gossips in the family groups. The desire to check the new DP (display pictures) or the new status. To know if I have been added in any more groups. Add to it the competition to create new supposedly “meaningful” groups and keeping it more active and “meaningful” than the groups started by others. Suddenly, I am like OMG (Oh my God) of all the addictions, did I have to fall prey to this WhatsApp? On a lighter but serious note, there is an unnamed disease, which is traced to excessive WhatsApp usage. Basically, only our thumb doing repeated scrolling and “touching” while the other fingers don’t move much. So dears, please do be careful and give your hands and fingers the much needed exercise in between please.
But before you jump to a conclusion about this smaller version of the idiot box, let me tell you there are so many things which are so helpful and make it worthy of the time spent. A family group where the parents are in the native place, the son is in USA and daughter is in Chennai and they have kids. For all happy and sad occasions, you can share the pictures in the family groups. The grandparents will always be happy to see the kids the pictures and the videos because that’s the best they can have since they are unable to stay with new generation.
Similarly, my son misses school for a day. Immediately I post a message asking for homework and classwork done for that day in School Parents group and within minutes I have the screenshots being shared. No, the herculean task would be to make him do that homework.
As we move forward in life, our responsibilities increase, priorities change and the “me – time” is reduced. We seem to loose contact with our friends from college and school (yes we all had friends in school). But WhatsApp is a platform which has brought us all together again. A school friends or college friend’s group is just what is need to bring a smile to our face. A reminiscent of the good old days.
There have been instances where patients received appropriate blood donors through this wonder app. Some cases where lost people were also found with the news being spread faster through this app. But again things when in the hands of good people is safe, but the moment it falls in the hands of unscrupulous people it can create problems. So we all need to be careful and vigilant always.
With everything said and done, WhatsApp continues to be a good time pass for me. Again the first thing I do in the morning is to check the messages, the gossips, the updates and the DPs.
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