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WhatsApp Wonder, Worry, War & Watch…

We keep saying that ‘technology is a great disrupter’. While we usually talk about this disruption in context of business, the impact of technology in our day to day life is often not talked about as much.

In my series of blogs, I intend to do precisely that.

First, we are going to talk about ‘WhatsApp’ and various groups that we all are part of – school/ college friends, family, office and so on.

This one focuses on the group of ‘residents’ of a building/ condominium/ society….

In many ways, quality of the living in a condominium is reflected in the conversations that take place in the WhatsApp group.

People in the group can be broadly divided into 4 categories:

1.   WhatsApp Wonders

These are self-motivated guys, who believe that the group is a forum to spread happiness and contribute towards nation building. Their WhatsApp status reads as ‘hope is a waking dream’ or ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do’.

They click pictures of sunrise, sunset, peacocks, and rainbow…whatever… and put on the group. They are usually the first ones to respond to general queries about hospitals, cook, gardener, security, set top boxes, pin codes etc.

They organize group activities like garbage cleaning drive in the neighborhood and nature walk. For this, there is intense pre-work like talking about the benefits, inviting nominations, giving instructions of do’s and don’ts, reminding people early in the morning for last minute logistics and so on. They click pictures in bulk while doing the activity, circulate them in the group and receive accolades from same group of people who participated in the activity in the first place.

These Wonders also take a lead in organizing functions like Holi/ Diwali /New Year celebrations and are the first ones to reach the venue to supervise the preparations (usually in Red/ Yellow Kurta or something like that). They take this seriously, inspect the food stalls, menus, taste the Golgappa water to ensure that it’s appropriately conditioned and usually become Master of Ceremony with Mic on stage – on self-nomination basis. They are also the last ones to leave the dance floor and leave when everyone else has gone home.

2.  WhatsApp Worriers

These people worry all the time and exist only to highlight the problems of humanity on planet earth. Their WhatsApp status says things like ‘what if there is no tomorrow’ or ‘if you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed’.

They have a problem with mosquitos during rains, sun stroke during summers, pollution during winters, music during festivities, kids playing cricket in the lawns and everything around them. They have a knack of finding problems with ACs, refrigerators, elevators and people manning them. If there is no liftman they react fiercely and if there are more than one then they don’t like either.

Their posts on the group usually start with ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’. They put the picture of paneer gone bad due to faulty refrigerator and ask ‘when are they going to fix it’….usually no one responds as it’s not clear who the question is directed to. They liberally use various emoji’s to express their anger, disappointment and such other feelings.

One of my fellow residents had a unique complaint recently… that a person who came to clean the ACs, locked himself in the room and took a shower. If this is true, this guy surely has a chance to become a brand ambassador for PM’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive.

3.  WhatsApp Warriors

These are sensitive and emotional people who fight for human (and animal) rights at every opportunity. Their WhatsApp status are usually a motivational quote like ‘success is sum of small efforts’ or ‘every day is beginning of a new life’.

They can further be sub-categorized into dog lovers and human lovers. They shudder at the thought of any infringement of fundamental rights that Constitution has provided. One of them recently objected to a fellow resident’s dog relieving himself at non-designated area. The owner (obviously a foreigner) accepted the mistake and promised to take care in future. This instantly converted the complaint to kudos, with all other warriors jumping in to congratulate the erstwhile offender for setting a ‘great example for future generations’ by accepting his mistake. This process (of showing appreciation) continued for several hours.

Warriors are like those psychologist who believe that for any revolution, change has to come from within. They wish people well and thank them profusely, even if they provide small help.

Warriors demonstrate some traits of Wonders and can move into that category, particularly if challenged by another warrior.

4.  WhatsApp Watchers

These people constitute a majority of the group members who don’t have high hopes from life but still want to live it somehow. Their WhatsApp status is usually ‘available’, ‘urgent calls only’ or ‘hey there, I am using WhatsApp’ (thanks for letting us know this important piece of information). If they exit the group, no one notices or asks the Admin (usually the Wonders) to bring them back. They are like one of those red dots on Google Map who no one is bothered about.

They pay fleeting visits to the Group at leisure (like sitting in the loo), gather all relevant information, make their mental notes, smile and close.

And yes, there is a 5th category as well, WhatsApp Wasps like me, who are just there on the Group to find material worth writing about!!

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