A proposal of basic conduct/behavior rules for WhatsApp Groups.
15 points that could save you lots of “WhatsApp headaches”. (Video and Infographic versions available)
Something that I’ve always found very “ironic” is that no WhatsApp group (or at least the ones that I am part of) has established “rules of behavior/conduct”, something that would be VERY useful in preventing the saturation of digital trash, memes and senseless/useless debates that only cause negative reactions and, sometimes, even hurt people’s feelings.
For this reason, and many more, I have decided to write this article and establish a series of points for anyone to use and promote as a code of conduct in their groups:
- Respect the purpose and objective of each group. A “WhatsApp work group” shouldn’t be used to send messages or content of a personal nature, as well as groups of friends and family shouldn’t be used for business purposes. That’s what direct messages are for.
- Don’t use groups just to send memes, videos, pictures and news, without reading and reacting to the content shared by others. The purpose of WhatsApp groups is to establish collective conversations with others, but when you only place content, but never read or interact, the existence of such groups loses their purpose. No one likes monologues.
- Never send content, information or “news” that HASN’T been verified. Placing content whose authenticity has not been definitively proven can be VERY dangerous and harm many people. WhatsApp is infested with lies and it’s better to put a stop to them than to be guilty of spreading them.
- If you feel uncomfortable in a group for any reason, feel free to leave or “mute” the notifications. It’s better to be criticized for leaving than for always complaining.
- Before sending a complaint to a group, identify the “administrator” and share your thoughts with him/her.
- Don’t get angry if someone doesn’t respond to your messages in a group. No one is obliged to do so. Better send him/her a direct message.
- Before sending a video, picture, meme or any content, analyze if such material will be in the interest of the majority of the members of the group.
- When forwarding a message, picture or video and you’re choosing multiple recipients, avoid sending it to all your groups, since hardly the same content will be suitable or of interest to all.
- Unless it’s a thematic group on politics or religion, avoid placing such content, since hardly all will have the same religious beliefs or political preferences. Avoid unnecessary debates.
- Unless tolerated by all, avoid sending any content that is violent or pornographic. It’s common for “only men groups” (or women) to circulate inappropriate content, but it’s important to ALWAYS keep in mind that many people may feel uncomfortable, especially when the content affects someone’s reputation.
- When replying to a specific comment from a person, use the “reply” function to make sense of your comment and avoid confusion.
- When noticing that you’re having a dialogue with a single member of the group, consider changing the conversation to direct message, because the rest of the group may not be interested in reading your conversation with another person.
- Keep in mind that your words can be interpreted in multiple ways, so use short sentences that can’t be misinterpreted.
- Don’t abuse emojis. There are some like this 😂 or 😭 that don’t require explanation, but others like this 😬 or 🤤 can be interpreted in different ways and generate confusion.
- Avoid sending videos or files that are very large, since nobody likes to saturate the memory of their smartphone or waste their data/internet plan on nonsense.
- If you think there are more points that could be added to this article, please feel free and write them in the comment section below.