I may be able to live without Facebook or Instagram but take away WhatsApp and my life would probably come to a standstill. I will envy anyone who says that they can live without WhatsApp and then also call them a liar haha because if not WhatsApp, they would probably have Telegram or something which serves the same purpose. Anyway despite the dramatic title, I’ll admit that WhatsApp has its perks. You can talk to one person or a whole group of people. You can message anyone at any time and for free if you have Wi-Fi. But then I have to also admit that Whatsapp is killing off the traditional idea of relationships. So this is just my light-hearted but kinda relevant take on WhatsApp and relationships. For this case, I am going to use a regular couple relationship as a basis simply because it’s going to be much funnier/more interesting :D

The emoticon language

Gone were the days of good old fashioned flirting…Most guys have trouble even complimenting their girls and on the occasions they do, those faces with hearts for eyes, kissy faces and multi-coloured hearts fill the chats instead. And instead of saying “aww thank you my love. You always make me feel beautiful”, women use those blushing faces, monkeys with hands over their eyes and the like, to be all shy and cute. Now I have nothing against emoticons. I use them in abundance myself but just a word of warning, let’s be cautious and not let emoticons be the new language for love. Be as cheesy as you wish, shower your loved one with all the compliments (ladies tell your man he looks great too!) Use emoticons to colour your Shakespearean words if you must. And go out there, my sun and stars (see what I did that *wink wink*) and romance your days away…

The last seen

If the wicked stepmother was the villain in Cinderella’s pursuit of love, if the jealous fiancé is the villain of Titanic, if the uptight father is the villain of most love stories in Tamil cinema, then the last seen feature is the modern day villain of all relationships (both love and otherwise) Raise your hands if you have ever gotten frustrated knowing that you messaged a person at 11.24am and his last seen was 11.31am. Yesss I see all of your virtual hands. It is beyond frustrating to know that a person was on WhatsApp just moments before or after you messaged him and yet there wasn’t a reply.

Let me share with you my most frustrating experience. This time however I was the one not replying. So for example, I was having a conversation with someone on WhatsApp and I go offline temporarily to maybe get a snack, help my sister with something etc. Just for a short while. This person I was messaging immediately responds with “if you’re busy I get it, talk to me when you are free”. Or if I take more than 2 minutes to reply him, his response is the same. And he used this same “if you’re busy…” line on me countless times before!! OH MY GODDD, I don’t think I’ve been more frustrated with a man before. First, everyone has to understand that things happen to the people you are talking to!!! Maybe you’ve got to pee, maybe you want to help mom with something for a second. That doesn’t mean the conversation you’re having is unimportant! Don’t let something as silly as a last seen timing ruin the relationship you have. It’s difficult to control your irritation when you look at the last seen time but it’s not worth picking a fight or feeling hurt over for.

The dreaded blue ticks

If having a last seen time later than the message time is a crime, the crime of blue-ticking a message and not responding demands the ultimate punishment. For those who don’t know, a single grey tick means that your message has not been sent to the recipient yet. 2 grey ticks mean that message is delivered but recipient has not read it. 2 blue ticks mean your recipient has read your message. This ultimate form of stalking can be quite useful, I admit. Especially when you’re trying to get hold of a person and you want to know if they’ve read your messages (though of course you can always call them). In a relationship this would surely lead to a fight. Because now you know that your girlfriend/boyfriend has read your message and is choosing to take her/his time to reply you. How dareeee she/he!!! But hold on, calm down for abit and you’ll realise that the same counter-argument applies here. Everyone is busy. Maybe they wanted some time to think about a suitable answer, maybe they’re commuting and want to sit down properly and talk to you. Something like this is just not worth getting upset about.

There are times when I receive a WhatsApp notification but I am travelling or am busy. I cannot describe the caution I take to not click on my WhatsApp because I don’t want to be ‘seen’ or to blue-tick somebody and have them think I’m being rude! I think you know the frustration, you know the fear. You guys are probably nodding your heads to some of the things mentioned so do leave a comment below on your worst or most interesting WhatsApp conversation and tell me your way of dealing with it!

WhatsApp definitely has the potential to affect relationships but honestly, there is nothing that some open communication can’t resolve. Be understanding when messaging. If you’re really upset with the way someone is messaging you, tell them frankly and they’d probably tell you a genuine reason for it. WhatsApp is a wonderful tool. Use it to connect with your loved ones and spread some emoticon love, all while using the best form of communication — some sweet talking *more wink wink*

Stay happy guys!!!

(PS: I am new to Medium.com and I usually write my posts on a personal blog, http://hopelovethrive.com/hopelovethrive/. So do check out my work there and tell me what you think! )