WhatsApp has made life easy; people can instantly share photos, videos, their current location and contacts with a single touch. With the rise of WhatsApp groups, is it possible to not belong to any? If you are one of the more than one billion people on this social networking caravan, chances are that you belong to at least one closed group – could be a family group, an office group, a professional group, or one for lovers of a particular hobby/sport/music genre.
But besides serving its set purpose, any WhatsApp group is also a melting pot of varied personality traits, temperaments and egos. Do you know them all? Where do you belong?
The WhatsApp group is the preacher’s pulpit, while group members serve as flock. The preacher is always reeling off random religious quotes from the World Wide Web, usually in characteristic condescending and holier-than-though style. The preacher admonishes his ‘flock’ with constant reminders of eternal damnation for the ungodly. He reminds ‘sinners’ of the futility of this earthly existence.
The preacher is in the habit of quoting long and tedious religious text, at the end of which he will command; “Type Amen and share if you have a heart”.
Not so different from the preacher is the disciplinarian – the one who always finds a bone to pick in other group members’ posts. Why am I tagged in this? The disciplinarian may even accuse you of Public Displays of Affection (PDA) should you dare post a picture of you and your suitor.
The disciplinarian knows what topics can be discussed in the group and those topics that are a no-go area. The disciplinarian reminds you of the dotting school matron or ‘Mother Superior’ back in boarding school.
The silent partner:
This one keenly reads and follows everything that is posted in the group – they just fall short of actively contributing and participating themselves. At the very most, this type has a standard set of limited and unimaginative posts every now and then; “Good morning beautiful people”, or “na-nite my folks”.
In a few cases, the silent partner is not all mute after all. Instead, they prefer to conduct more private inbox chats, even when the said chat is in connection to a post or a discussion on the group forum.
You could also call them ‘late night star’. Like the name suggests, the midnight star is the late sleeper in your WhatsApp group. They are the one to burn the proverbial midnight candle for the sake of the group.
The late night star is up till late, the last man standing in the group when all others have drifted off into sleep. Because they know fully well that it is an ungodly hour to be posting on social media, this lot always makes it a point to ask “who’s still up?” with each post they make past the midnight hour.
This one goes hand in hand with the person who’s always online; even if they’re out of the house, out of town, out of the country. Their hands are permanently attached to their phones.
This one is always up to something exciting, something that starts off by “loading”; Birthday party loading, weekend loading, and vacation loading …
What about Mr. copy-paste? Ripping off anything and everything from the Internet and reposting with the tagline “borrowed” or “stolen from random wall”.
But we have to cut some slack for Mr. copy-paste, if only for being so candid as to admit to “theft”. After all it’s not every day that you find someone that freely and voluntarily admits that they stole.
The selfie maniac:
When it comes to selfies, we all are guilty of having succumbed to the temptation to take one. Presidents have done it, as have security guards on professional duty. Imagine the absurdity in a uniformed and armed guards waltzing this and that way and giggling girlishly as they snap away at themselves!
But selfies are here to stay. That said, who says every other picture of yours that emerges on your timeline should be a selfie? The thing with selfies is that the act of taking one’s own picture is in itself inherently vain, not to mention having to splash it all over.
Selfies are unnatural at the very least, and kind of mechanical at most, especially when the said selfie has to be taken with the aid of a selfie stick.
WhatsApp groups also have a special category we shall call the name changers. The name-changer is always on the move, editing their profile name as and when the situation demands. The name-changer will start off with their known name, but as time goes on and their circle of WhatsApp contacts spreads, he sees the need to change names to suit the occasion at hand.
The name-changer starts off with their actual name, say Peter Kamasa. When Kamasa has an upcoming event, say a wedding, he will change his name to reflect that – something like ‘Kamasa’s wedding’ perhaps.
If it is his house party that is coming up, he will change his profile name to ‘Kamasa’s B.D’ or something along those lines.
The whiner is always complaining – about the weather, about haters, about delayed salaries, about a bad hair day, about the politics of the day, you name it.
There are members in your group that are a clear case of attention seeking disorder. All their posts are centered on attracting attention. As a group member, you have an obligation to flatter the attention seeker, or else risk being called a “hater”.
These ones consider themselves to be the heart of the party (or heart of the group in this case).
The plan maker is the go-to person when it comes to organising WhatsApp group get-togethers, house parties, beach bashes, or B.O.B (bring your own bottle) parties.
This one is mostly in groups that have many members. They are always arguing or fighting with someone. They do not pass off the chance to assure whoever needs to be assured. No one is safe with these ones, not even the group admin.
The meme addict:
There’s always someone in the group who sends all the memes he sees that day.
They will send them in a row, in no particular order, and once people seem uninterested, they send one captioned ‘this is the last one, but it’s really good.’
But we all know it’s not the last one.
This one might be mistaken for having a phobia for typing. In truth, sometimes they are simply lazy and would rather send voice note after voice note, especially if what they have to say is lengthy. Many people do not mind voice notes, but when you’re trying to catch up with over 300 messages, it’s really inconvenient.
The inappropriate sexter:
There is always that one person who feels the need to share some X-rated humour, even at the most awkward of times. This person also loves to share pornographic content. It’s best to always never let a video sent by this one download until you are in the privacy of your home. There’s nothing like waiting in line at the bank and opening a video that displays more than you care to see, at that hour at least. Understand that fidgeting to take the video off, as people are now looking at you, might take longer than you anticipated!
This one is kind of like the ‘the silent partner’. They follow quietly, never really say anything, but the minute you mention their name, they respond in time unmatched. They’ll miss out on plans, birthday parties, conversations -you name it. But mention their name, and it’s like they were waiting for that the whole time.
Have you come across the ones who talk about, and show off, the insane number of groups to which they belong like it were some badge of honour or achievement?
Not only are they in family and office WhatsApp groups, they also belong to a group started by and exclusive to lovers of a music genre, sports team, and etcetera. They are also members of a group that serves the local Rotaract club. If they are journalists, they will also join the journalists’ group where tips about upcoming events are freely shared.
This type will easily and proudly count up to a dozen or more private groups in which they are active. The icing on the cake is if this person can go ahead and even be the admin (administrator) for some of the groups.
The punching bag
In every WhatsApp group there is that one person everyone is always making fun of, especially in groups that are exclusive to friends. If it was school it is that child that everyone always made fun of because of their physical looks. They will post a photo of a big nose, and accompany it with ‘good morning George’ or if it’s about the size of your stomach, they will post a random picture of a man with a big pot belly and add ‘Emmanuel how are you my brother’!!!!
Last but not least, we have the admin. This person is the one who created the group, and thus thinks he/she’s the boss of everyone, with the absolute power to smite (or kick out) the wretched and the misbehaved. They are dictators most times, and throw around lines like, my group, my rules, you don’t like it, form your own.