The blue ticks

Let’s talk about blue ticks for a moment.

If it is just one, then it is a tiny insect parasite that leapt off a stray dog you wandered too close to, and is about to either make you a superhero or anaemic. But when they come in pairs you have an even bigger problem. The what and when: Two blue ticks are what appear on the cell phone communication programme ‘WhatsApp’ to indicate that the message you last sent has been seen, read, and is currently being left there just just as if.

 

Let’s take a serious look at the pros and cons of the blue ticks.

 

Plus: Kind of cute.

 

Depending on the screen resolution of your phone, the blue tick can be rather pleasing to see. It is rendered in a picturesque hue on the high-end phones, a particular blue that speaks of clear skies and serene days by lakesides.

I have heard, however, that those with cheap phones have an uglier blue — like something you find in the vomit of a diseased farm animal.

Meaning of blue ticks:

The purpose of the blue ticks is to inform the sender of messages that the message sent has arrived, without requiring effort of the recipient to say, “I got your message and have seen it.”

Or, depending on the manners of the people you chat with on ‘WhatsApp’, “i gt ur mzg n hv sin eat!!!”

Con: Other possible meanings arise. These include, “I have received your message but I find it so offensive, so insulting, so vile, that it has made me furious! I am never going to look at a screen with a message from you again. I am so angry I cannot even phrase a response. I cannot even type a reply. I am breaking up with you. I am never ever ever going to speak or WhatsApp you again so don’t even bother sending, ‘Is it something I said?’ because it is something you said, you hyena! Something so bad that it will never be responded to.”

That is what blue ticks might mean.

Pro: Other possible meanings: Say you are a person of few and clear words. You are a natural leader and seldom need to repeat yourself. If you say, “The crisps are finished. Bring more,” in a WhatsApp message, you do not need to entertain a barrage of replies dinging, “Crisps are finished, eh?”, “You want me to bring more, eh?”, “But who finished the crisps?” and “Okay, let me find a place in the partial lockdown to get more crisps. Love you.” All you need are crisps and the blue ticks show that this is understood. Blue ticks after your message mean the recipient is on the way to find the crisps you demand, if it means planting and digging up the potatoes themselves. They have no time to waste replying.

Cons: Other ambiguities: The blue tick, like most of WhatsApp communication, can often be rude. Say, for example, you break up with someone via WhatsApp and send the message, “It’s over. I’m breaking up with u” (the kind of person who breaks up over the phone is likely to be the kind who won’t spell the word in full). If you send a message saying, “I’m dumping u” you will consider it very rude if you just get blue ticks and no response. The other side should at least reply, “What do u mean u are dumping me?” so you can reiterate your position. It’s simple etiquette.

Pros: It’s a learning experience:

Sometimes it is your fault. You send a message that really isn’t worth a response. Like, “Hi!” Just that word. It reads like, “I have free time and would like someone to entertain me. I have chosen you. Drop what you are doing and cater to me.” We all have to blue tick that.

“Did you see Bazanye’s latest blog post?” That message will be blue ticked if the person did not see said blog post. Because they will then go to read it, read it, enjoy it, and then go WhatsApp “did you see Bazanye’s latest blog post?” to someone else and get blue ticked in turn as the process continues.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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