WhatsApp versus ...
November 01 2015
WhatsApp is shit. Seriously. Surely, we are always connected, have the capability to instantly send messages, voice recordings, pictures and videos to anyone across the globe within seconds and all from a device we can carry in our pocket. But ten years ago, we used to take the time to do things right. We put in the effort to show our interest, to sit down and enjoy talking to someone and allow us to relax while conversing.
Remember those days? We had something different back then. We had the MSN Messenger. Remember those hours we spent in front of our laptops or computers, just chatting away to our friends, family, or sometimes even people we hardly knew. It was magical.
The entire process was different.
You would sit down on your desk, or get into bed, or get cosy on your sofa, you name it - location was crucial. You would turn on your laptop or computer, sign in, and there you go: all your friends are online. We would say things like hello, how are you, and good bye. We had the time to talk about things, without hurry and stress. We got excited when we saw our crush come online. Get involved in massive group conversations and spam each other. To some degree, it was beautiful - talking, catching up, even video chatting. We could customise the design of our MSN, show people the music we listened to, ask friends to send that display picture so we could see it in large and get excited about updates to the messenger, like sketching, emoticons and voice recordings.
Technologically speaking we never had the opportunity to take all our friends with us on a device, and now we can, but what has it done to us? Do you really take the time to get comfortable, find yourself and focus on writing your friends? I mean, we all had cell phones when we had MSN, but who texted that much? All the deep, meaningful and joyful stuff happened on MSN.
Now all you have is rushed messages, ‘read’ and ‘delivered’ notifications, and if you text for more than 20 minutes you get that tingling sensation in your fingers because your hands are numb. In fact you avoid talking for too long, because it's tough to type that much for that long on a phone! MSN was impersonal, because you sat in front of a screen - WhatsApp is the same, but what’s changed is our attitude towards it. At least on MSN you had the time and (mostly) put in the effort to talk to your contacts.
So the next time you’re writing something on WhatsApp, remember this and ask yourself, if it were MSN, would I write things differently?