WhatsApptitude: 7 Etiquette Tips

WhatsApp has become the number one instant messaging application for smartphones, thanks to its simple yet effective and free (when used over WiFi) platform. In addition to basic messaging, WhatsApp Messenger users can send each other images, video and audio media messages and now even calls.

The broadcast and group chat functions are also becoming more popular amongst users and proving to be very effective for lots of friends and even for marketing purposes.

It’s easy to organize an event with WhatsApp, you start a group with those you want to invite (as long as they’re on the app), send out the info, so that every member can see the responses and get involved with the conversation/arrangements/dates etc.

As with any social activity, there are etiquette tips to keep in mind. Here are our 7 tips that apply to virtual communication, especially on a Whatsapp group.

  1. Be selective

One of the not so useful features on this application, which I am sure will be addressed soon is the lack control to decline a group invite and then to leave a group quietly.

Also, groups can soon become noisy. You can look down at your boring, blank phone one minute, and the next, you have 50 WhatsApp messages awaiting your input. It can be overwhelming if you have lots of groups on the go, so be selective about when to start a new group and with whom.

  1. Leave a group – without offending anybody 

If you leave a WhatsApp group, the other members get a message saying ‘So and so has left the group’. Best to politely inform the group and exit.

  1. Update your profile

Change your profile – ‘Hey there! I am using WhatsApp’ is impersonal. Add your name and a fun quote as your status

  1. Be wary when reading a message and NOT replying

Be it an advantage or a curse, if you’re in a conversation with just one other person, they can see the time you read their last message. So if you opt to read and not reply, friends may feel snubbed. It is better to wait till you have time to read AND reply, even if it to tell them that you will respond soon.

On the flip side, Be patient

If your friends take an extra five minutes to answer you, don’t panic. They could be in a meeting, driving, having lunch, in the movies etc… Even if they were “last seen” a while ago, this doesn’t mean they should answer you at once!

5. Manage your notifications

Turn off your notifications so your phone doesn’t wake you in the middle of the night. Also if you are part of a large group, you can even choose to mute the notifications and check out the conversations at your leisure.

  1. Watch your posts

Bombarding fellow members of a group with pictures, videos and audio also goes against the unwritten set of rules. Unless you’re clever with the settings, all the images received are automatically saved to the phone’s image gallery taking up valuable space.

Remember a group chat is not the place for a one on one conversation.

  1. Contribute But Don’t Spam

If you are a group member, contribute to the conversation. Don’t spam with unnecessary chains and forward messages. Do not just lurk in the background. If it is irrelevant, politely inform and leave the group.

What other things do people do that bother you in your group chats?

Once you get the hang of it, WhatsApp is a convenient and economical tool used to communicate with loved ones and friends around the world. You can instantly share photos, videos and links and generally just take advantage of the fact it’s free to use.

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