Please note am out to use the word WhatsApp with a disturbing capital ‘A’ centered for about two hundred and one times. Just incase you had to know foremost!
That afternoon is been this boring. It’s Friday. Our usual BIZ HUB Weekly event for the week was cancelled for some reason logistics. That leaves a vacuum. A deep felt emptiness. I rush through that meeting then book a seat in some third floor restaurant. A lady serves me juice straight from the freezer. A friend joins. Then a girl. We talk about almost everything. Politics. Life. Everything. That girl leaves. We drift back to politics. It’s boring. I fire up my data icon. My messages stream in like they were just waiting at the door. Am balancing between that convo and those chats. This friend shoots a shout out in one of the messages. He’s asking we hook up at some adjacent joint. He says he’s on his third. We sheep out.
He’s in the company of another friend. A good old time friend. Now we are four perched on those still that leave your feet dangling in space. Shortly before midnight we flock out. One friend goes. Then we drop another towards Thika road. Then we endeavor to find Ngong road from Zimmermann estate. It’s my friend driving myself sinking in the passenger seat towards the front beside him. We go through parklands coming out through the road that feeds into the measum. Then turn towards Riverside drive. The mission is to reach Ngong road through James Gichuru road. We keep hitting the bumbs hard. Then telling each other sorry. I fasten my seat belt. That advert of sijui don’t drink and drive chokes My memory. Am afraid. We move ahead and our instincts sense the alcohol blow chaps. We can see them from a distance. We take a safe turn and stray into the Westland. That place is silent as a child who’s stole meat from the granny’s pot. The rich are sleeping. You can crip out of the car knock at their gates repeatedly, drive off and they will have no idea.
What am I even driving at? Am driving to the silent fact that by any chance anything happened to us that night or we ended up begging for just a pint of freedom at the Kibera Law courts this morning, Yes trying to stand ground against alcohol blow charges and foiled attempts to escape. I would have WhatsApp to wholly blame. This night started there. The whole adventure was brewed via WhatsApp. That single shout out that trickled in my whatsApp chat as soon as my data icon went live. Away from that, yourself and I will play second to the fact that these days WhatsApp is become the most common denominator in as far as human interaction of this century is concerned. Back in 2016 around March, a BAKE research on social media use put WhatsApp users at 10million, Facebook at 6 million and Twitter and LinkedIn at about 3million. Those figures are in Kenyan context. They might be or might not be correct but the degree of error however is unapologetic huge. Many factors apply. Like I know a personal friend who owning to the fact that he reads regularly, I will not mention his name but he has six lines all registered on WhatsApp. See he’s counted as six people!
The people of our generation will form WhatsApp groups for entirely everything. Church goers WhatsApp group. Thus church non-goers WhatsApp group. Primary school friends WhatsApp group. Secondary school friends WhatsApp group. College foes WhatsApp group. Workplace associates WhatsApp group. Weekend hiking WhatsApp group. See we might not have the glory of time and space to list them all here. Let’s just wrap it up that WhatsApp group could pass for a Gant chart of the current generation. All activities Start and end there.
Personally am party to countless of them. But of particular interest is some homorne filled teenagers WhatsApp group. That place oozes of prostorogene and estrogene. Kids live there twenty four seven. It’s family. They type with speed and precision. Only that they communicate with emonjis more than they do with real words. I guess it’s calibrated to cut myself out. Huh! Who knows? I have tried to Chuck out thrice and foiled at each attempt. The very last time I ‘left’ some chic typed “where is 0726 going with all our secrets. Someone bring him back. We are together in this” Just like that I was there to stay. You will wake up in the morning to thousands of chats from that group. They are nocturnals; super hyperactive at night and mild to idle at day. Am looking forward to sneaking out into oblivion.
Every one battles with such WhatsApp groups. Groups that don’t really mean a lot to you personally but you are forced to stay and hope and follow. Mostly you will be added against your will. But trying to act like you are a cool guy, you will avoid the confrontational route and choose to stay and follow. In some instances you will battle with foiled exit attempts.
Yes we can not downplay WhatsApp and the role of has continued to play. It has started families in measures just as it has ended families in measures. Recent case scenario of a family that blew to the winds when some lady exposed his cheating husband in their family WhatsApp group! Damn! WhatsApp has manufactured international reconnections. People can chat and speak to pals overseas apart from that WhatsApp call sounds like Ocampo’s witness recounting at court. We can’t miss to mention that WhatsApp has seen the fulfillment of Albert Einstein prophecy of people becoming sorry, zombies. They say technology takes you away from people near you but close to people far away. And such is the worst case scenario Albert feared decades back. You’ve seen that on dates? That must stop!
Talking of WhatsApp and what there rein. WhatsApp has zillions of characters all curled behind the anonymity of the keyboard. Perhaps we do justice by looking at the notorious few in the following bit:
The unseen guests. It makes me remember word for word that wall hanging at my granny’s “Christ is the head of this house. The unseen guest at every meal. The silent listener to every conversation” The unseen guests are in there following silently. Saying nothing in particular but following nevertheless. Someone once said they think that chat group is a library where you are asked to maintain silence. Like you have this plan for a get together. They say nothing. Not even confirmation of attendance but they show up.
The master forwarders. This must be chaps in clearing and forwarding. Or rather those kids who want to become Freight attendants when they grow up. For forwarding they will entirely everything. Everything that comes their way must always be given that deserving forward. And it hurts the most when you share several platforms. It will be exasperating to read same shit from them over and over again.
Click banks. Yes click banks are the guys with “click on this click to Start making real money online working from home” narratives. Like they heard apart from them, the rest of us make fake monies! They will tell you to click and become a WhatsApp gold Member. Such that your icon appears not green but as the photo we have above! Interesting, right?
Content banks must be the regulars. They have dozens of stuff to share. The rest of us only respond to them either in approval, disapproval or complimentary. They ran this damn show.
Spirituals. They are the last men standing. They are the men of God. They should be the ones who grow into preaching on buses. They will start preaching on the midst of everything. They will forward these quote and quote verses. You will want to write “it was such a fulfilling summon!”
The share and you’ll be blessed. They will jot these moving narratives of testimonies and ask you to share to a million people before Tea break. Failure to which they will proclaim bad fortune. Kwanza who are you? Prophets of doom? Sorry but I hate them. And I will mostly get personal with them and tell them “see you, our God is not a fairy tale god! Don’t scare us into death with sijui of you ignore, seven years of despair are coming your way. No it doesn’t work that way”
Let’s just say owing to its newness, WhatsApp and or its usage should not be jargon full of rules and regulations. No. The simple matter of fact should be, whatever group you find yourself in, study to know what’s the main Agenda, weigh against your personality whether it serves you any justice. Choose to stay and be one of the characters above. Or if your ego is this big, shift out in the silence of the night without causing a bubble. Tomorrow’s headline should never be “Onyi Left!”
There are 9 things that make a group active;
1. Always learn to appreciate other people’s posts, even if they are not your friend
It makes them feel important and encouraged to come up with something more positive.
2. Never run people down on the platform in a group chat
You will cause them to withdraw and will never come up with their objective views on issues.
3. When you see something you don’t like from a member, inbox the person
Don’t attack him/her on the platform publicly
4. Never insult or use unpleasant languages on members. You expose your uncultured manners and attitude to people and may turn the platform to combat ground.
5. Be quick to say sorry and apologize when u have erred It helps to dose down the tension which your utterances must have created.
6. Don’t try to enforce your ideas or suggestions on members. Nobody has monopoly of knowledge, allow majority conclusions to prevail on issues.
7. Never settle scores with anybody on a general group chat
You will give others the opportunity to take sides, thereby causing others to withdraw.
8. When anyone is celebrating, he/she may not need to be your friend before you celebrate with that person.
It’s the spirit of brotherliness
9. Some have the gift of talking and others the gift of reading
Learn to contribute to the group… Even if it is just using the symbol 👍… It makes people know that you appreciate the group.
There are 3 types of posts you will always see on a group chat
(A) Offensive posts.. Don’t attack the person, it could be a mistake, but you can attack the posts.
(B) lnspirational/educative posts
Commend the person.. Don’t just read and keep quiet.
(C) Meaningless/wrongly uninformed posts
Start by appreciating the writer, then correct the information, but don’t hush him up with condemnation.