WhatsApp To Allow Silent Group Exit — Hooray!
It is possible to exit a classroom (or one’s wedding) without being noticed but not possible on WhatsApp
Leaving a WhatsApp group is like someone blowing a trumpet and making a big announcement when someone leaves an ongoing meeting or a lecture. If you leave any active WhatsApp group, within a couple of hours you are bombarded with messages that flood your WhatsApp. Those who either ignored you or fought with you in the group now ask you the reason for leaving the group. Some of them say they will miss you and the group won’t be the same without you. Some others ask you whether you left the group due to some textual spat you had with them in the group. They guilt-trip you back into the group and you know there’s no escape without hurting some sentiments. It is akin to a prison break by injuring some prison guards. But beware, the guards can shoot or hit you with a stick, or their fists. They can also hurt you on your way out.
In my experience people usually leave a WhatsApp group not because of one person but because of the group. We join many groups due to compulsion, be it your children’s school group where all parents constantly brag or crib about their children or your school/college friend’s group with whom you may not connect as you did in those days. But the award for the worst group of all goes to the relatives' group.
Be it friends group or relatives group, some things are common — good morning messages, good night messages, morality messages, religious messages, and rest of the time either nostalgia or gossip. An active group will definitely have 100+ messages and if you miss out on checking it on a single day, you’ll have a big backlog to manage. If you miss checking it for a week then you might have to take leave from the office to catch up.
Another big issue I have is the rate at which photos and videos are shared in friends and relatives groups. They not only consume space in my phone but also in my mind and there are some things I am not interested in watching even once in my life. Some things I regret watching. I am not interested in your kid’s dance performance or your wife’s culinary skills (or vice-versa). And I am definitely not interested in watching the recording of your singing in your living room, holding a pen for a mike. Travel photos are fine when they show some scenic beauty or some beautiful architecture. But a minute-by-minute snapshot of the route during your road trip, taken from inside the moving car, doesn’t count as scenic beauty. Sharing more than 100 photos and videos of a weekend trip to a place that everybody in the group has visited multiple times is called spamming.
Eventually, you have to decide whether you’re willing to withstand a one-time confrontation or go through a slow death of your patience. Nobody has regretted the first option, but only after the supply of their patience ran out.
Fortunately, Mark Zuckerberg has made this announcement yesterday that has been enthusiastically hailed by many. The red underlined one in the image above is the first update and ensures a guilt-free exit without confrontation and embarrassment. If the prison guards (active members of the WhatsApp group) reach your home (personally message you after a week), that’s on you.
I can’t wait to use this feature of exiting groups silently. Reminds me of the movie Shawshank Redemption and how Tim Robbins felt when he was finally out of the sewage line and out in the open, inhaling the air of freedom and drenched in the water of a successful escape.
A request: Share this article on all WhatsApp groups that have disturbed you with the sheer amount of garbage they produce every day. And soon after this feature is launched, watch those groups crumble like a house of cards.