One App Many Possibilities Handle with Care

Hi there, I am Krishnan on behalf of Covai Vani, Coimbatore 

This is about the most common app in our lives. The short story of WhatsApp and how it changed our life.

Today everybody is on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Hike and many other social networking websites and mobile applications.

Social media has provided people with a massive platform to share ideas, knowledge, feelings and possibly anything. Earlier you had messaging services and chatting applications but slowly photo sharing came into existence then music then videos and today what not from PDFs to PowerPoint presentations anything can be shared at an instant.

Just imagine

Two of the eight people sitting at a restaurant for dinner are talking to each other, but not really talking. Both are on WhatsApp on their smartphones. 

Every one of us has a story. Some of us choose to keep our stories within us, while most of us love to share our stories. Stories are the most powerful connection between people. They create windows to enable us to see the world through the eyes of others. New relationships. Strengthening old ties. Laughing and crying in company. Going back a few days of a few decades. Stories have that power.

Whatsapp gives us that power.

It is quite difficult to remain aloof and lonely with so many ways for people to connect with you.

But common people are greatly engrossed in this virtual world where you can have a completely different personality from your real life personality. There has been a popular mindset nowadays that the family which is connected by Whatsapp or Facebook stays together. 

No, we don’t want to let go of WhatsApp do we?

So here goes, a lot of good things about WhatsApp, some not so good and what to watch out for on WhatsApp.

Let’s then begin with a supportive round of applause to WhatsApp for giving us all – young and old, men and women, school kids and teachers, businessmen and vendors, electricians and plumbers,doctors and patients, farmers and scientists, social workers a medium to chat and communicate with each other in real-time. Anywhere in the world. Boundaries no barrier. Nations, no barrier. A phone is all you need. And friends, social and business contacts. There you go.(applause)

Did you know that WhatsApp was founded by a Ukrainian immigrant to the U S? Jan Koum taught himself computer programming where he met his future partner Brian Acton. After a lot of struggle, the idea of a cross messaging platform for messages and calls for friends and families became reality in the form of WhatsApp.

Launched on 9th May 2009, WhatsApp became a game changer some months later, when Apple updated its software to allow push notifications. In 2014 Facebook bought the shares of WhatsApp for 19 billion Dollars.The founders remained on the board , but left a few years later over issues related to advertising and privacy protection.

Till today WhatsApp remains Facebook’s best acquisition.

Let’s come to WhatsApp in India. Over 1200 crore messages are sent every day, making India the largest market for WhatsApp . And most of the messages are by teenagers who are hooked on social media.

Today’s youngsters do not have the patience to type messages longer than a line. Tough for me in a blog to give you a glimpse but imagine in your mind’s eye one white line and one green band of the WhatsApp screen on your phone and it goes like this.   

Hi, Baby are you there?

Janoo

Kya kar Rahi ho?

Thinking of you

Me too

Luv you 

Mooooooah

Let’s go for coffee

Nahin papa gharana me hain

A smiley, a tear and three four hearts follow

Chal kal Milte hain

Come again, where did they meet?

That’s WhatsApp for you

There are a million more like this. In almost every language.

Rarely you come across technologies that are both an evolution as well as a revolution. Facebook and whatsapp took the world by storm.

WhatsApp is the best platform for sharing information.  In some countries over 50% of the people say they use WhatsApp to get news. Large images, documents, photographs, almost anything you can take a photo of can be transmitted seamlessly.

Thanks to WhatsApp, the usage of voice and video calls, in addition to messages, people with friends and families across countries and continents are connected.

E learning has taken a big leap with WhatsApp, especially during the last two years when COVID scared the wits out of the world.

The No ads policy of WhatsApp is a boon for users as ads are a great distraction to users.

For 20 years businesses were struggling to exploit the power of social media to be in touch with their customers, reach out to them and enhance their customer experience. Today small and large businesses, why even individuals can use WhatsApp for adding customers. You can simply use your  WhatsApp account to make or receive payments.

But wait, not all is Hunky dory. The proliferation of WhatsApp has its own problems. Lack of concentration in studies, wasting time instead of doing something useful, too much time on the mobile leading to social isolation and other health issues are causing great concern to parents, doctors, sociologists and psychiatrics. Recently there have been a number of complaints on lack of censorship of content. Seniors and unwary users have been exposed to monetary frauds and financial loss.

WhatsApp has a lot going for it and as long as we remain aware of its pros and cons it can be a great medium to bridge barriers, break boundaries and bring the world closer.

Exercise caution especially in group chats. Do not fall prey to scamsters. 

So what do you think? WhatsApp or Unzaap? We think WhatsApp because you know what, we used it extensively to reach many people for this blog.

Thank you for your patience. In the time that this short blog took, thousands of users changed their status message or DP. Will you too?

 Bye for now. 

Thank you from the Covai Vani team.

by Mr V Krishnan, resident of Covai S3 Retirement Community

 Reblog – originally published as a podcast at CovaiVani

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