When I was a new mom, and even before that, I loved being added to a Whatsapp Group. It was like a secret chatroom (I’m old enough to recall the days of IRC and mIRC), populated by those with whom I had a specific connection. Like, my in-laws and husband; co-planners of an upcoming bridal shower; or even a shared class at my little one’s playschool. Whatsapp just worked for me.
And now? I bloody hate it.
In fact, when I see the warning signs – ‘XYZ has created group “Insert bullshit reason and silly emoticons here”’ and ‘XYZ has added you’ – I want to cry. I know that they will, soon, be followed by tons of inane messages (and more emoticons!) from people I don’t know. At all hours of the day and night. For days and days. I also know that I can’t exit without seeming like an uninterested bitch.
So, I stew. In silence. Hating my phone and hating the strangers who message crap all day. Being annoyed by the poor spelling and punctuation. Feeling enraged.
To illustrate the extent of my problem, allow me to detail the groups to which I currently belong, as of 3.46pm on Friday 11 September 2015 (in random order):
- My child’s class
- A highly ironic group composed of my husband and our shared bestie
- The faculty of an institution for which I lecture
- My partners in a side business
- My associates in a work project
- The planning committee of a recent fund-raiser
- A group awaiting the arrival of a friend’s baby (in two weeks’ time)
- A selection of invitees to a 2nd birthday party
- A selection of invitees to a 36th birthday party
- The co-planners of an upcoming camping trip
- My art class
- My Pilates class
- My gym class
- My two sisters, my niece and I
14 groups. 14 GROUPS?!?
And if only one person in each group posts two messages a day (yeah, whatever), that’s an extra 28 pieces of daily correspondence I’d not have seen pre-Whatsapp.
Granted, some (half) of these groups are valuable to me. But the rest? Annoying.
The only problem is, I don’t have a leg to stand on. Because, when I was scouring my Whatsapp chats for evidence of irritating groups, I found a long-forgotten group – MINE! – dedicated to a selection of invitees to my daughter’s 4th birthday party.