I have had WhatsApp for quite some time now and it has been on limited use. That is because I cannot type as quickly as those who use text everyday. I was not used to the abbreviations that were being used. Even now, I tend to spell every word when I text. I have tried to use “CU” instead of “See You” but I just felt uncomfortable using the abbreviation. Every now and then I would garner enough courage … or would that be gall … to use one of the text abbreviations and then start worrying whether I used it correctly or whether I was understood correctly.
This brings me to my recent experience with WhatsApp. I had switched off the notification alert sound because it was getting on my nerves. It sounded just when I was at a meeting or at Mass. Every time I looked at my handphone, I see a list of messages; even when I had quit the app! As there were usually more messages I disregard than take note of, I had missed some important messages. It was like email with spam all over again. I had moved out of hotmail many years ago because it took me more time to scan the junk mail filter for authentic messages than to answer authentic mail. Now it appears in what I consider a very convenient, reliable, cost-saving and, dare I say it, time-saving app. The beauty of it is that when I am in another country, it is a useful, inexpensive and convenient way of sending messages. The beast is that I might have to rummage through all the messages to see which ones are relevant.
Being instant has its advantages: time is saved. Yet I may end up making a hasty reply that could inconvenient others. just now, my brothers had wanted to celebrate Mothers’ Day with dinner on 4 May. I know that Mothers’ Day always falls on a Sunday. So I just assumed that 4 May was a Sunday. Guess what? It’s a Saturday. I must have upset some plans because of my overly quick reply. Again the beauty of being a time saver but my impulsiveness had changed it into a beast.
I used to think that I would be okay with technology. As I grow older, I realise I get less efficient. Sigh!