Art by Saloni Sinha

My Phone Runneth Over!

A self-deprecating rant about whatsappers and their whatsappings.

May make a few enemies shortly. You know, texting was bad enough. Now Whatsapp has twice as many features as texting. You can form groups with buddies or people you know, write to them, send them pics, audio clip, a video, what not. Very useful. But for some reason, the moment you put up more features in social apps, these people show up.

Before I rant further, I confess am part of two or more groups on Whatsapp. So I think that gives me the right to rant.

Have you noticed, the moment some useful, deeply absorbing discussion starts, it gets hit by a storm of imbecilic jokes or some senseless video junk from shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos. Who posts stuff like that? Even workplace groups like HR are not spared. Colleagues you see everyday but rarely speak with, will send these long jokes, quirky videos and pictures to you on Whatsapp. It keeps people bent over their phones — permanently.

These people, they lurk everywhere. They spare no one. I call them Dive Bombers. And they have a plan.

Dive Bombers

Dive Bombers, they appear out of nowhere to repeatedly drop joke bombs on your poor phone screen. Some run into 200 words or more. They are na’palm’ (got it?). Here is some of the punishing stuff they deal out:

Bunker Busters. These are all by themselves, each one is a short story nearly. Some have 4 or 5 paras to improve readability, so that no aspect is missed by the distracted whatsapper. Some are punctuated by silly looking smileys so that you know when to laugh as it falls.

Cluster Bombs. These are deadly, they arrive in packs of 4 or more. Each one is a different joke. Its a swarm. Like World War II dive bombers, they land one after another in quick succession, giving you no chance.

Glide Bombs. These catch the unsuspecting whatsapper unaware, and its too late by then. You think its something serious or apparently meaningful narrative, before it quickly deteriorates into some mind-numbing drivel.

Bouncing Bombs. These are very popular, but only because either no one wants them, or they want others to experience what they just went through. They are designed to be forwarded to as many people as possible, till it completely destroys a whatsapper or the whatsapper destroys it.

So…

as one or more of these makes your phone go beep beep beep, you rush to grab it thinking it might be an important message from your office, school, or wife. But no, its these marauders. By the time you frantically scroll up and down to catch up with the others … it leaves you thinking: hmm, where would we be without our opposing thumb!

Angels of the Morning

As I end the rant, here is one more kind. Angels of the Morning. Now these people, they are not as unpredictable and damaging as Dive Bombers. But they can be cheesy, mushy, and some times plain irritating. They are like your devout aunt who is constantly trying to either get you married and/or make you a believer in good vs evil. They have taken it upon themselves to remind you every morning that life is beautiful, friendship is everlasting, that god sees us through the eyes of children, and that love binds all of us together.

Indeed.

[Enough said. Gotta go. Need to find a Whatsapp group to drop this bunker buster on.]

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