I ditched WhatsApp

I ditched WhatsApp at the starting of 2020, because I needed to clear my head.

I ditched WhatsApp

I once loved WhatsApp. It was my go-to messaging app for a while. But as time went on, I realized it had become an addiction and I needed to stop.

I was always on WhatsApp. I used it for work, for friends, for family, and even when I was in the same location as people. It became a crutch that I depended on too much.

It’s often difficult to know when to put your phone down and spend time with the surrounding people. We all struggle with this. I felt I needed to change order to be present for my family and ‘myself’, so I deleted WhatsApp from my phone and made a vow to only use it in extreme circumstances, like visit to my native village.

With my head spinning and the pressure of constant communication, I felt like WhatsApp was the worst offender. Constantly on the app, causing me to feel anxious and agitated. So I cleared out my chat history and set it to private for a week just to see if it made a difference.

And believe me, I was on and off from WhatsApp before I finally take my call to ditch it.

My six reasons for ditching WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that was acquired by Facebook in 2014. It has been a staple in the world of texting and chatting for many years. However, it is not without its faults. There are six reasons for me to ditching WhatsApp.

  1. The thing is that people don’t need to be on it all the time anymore. We can just call or text them if we need to chat or send an important message.
  2. Privacy Concerns: WhatsApp has been criticized for the way they handle user data and privacy concerns. They have been accused of sharing messages with Facebook to bolster their advertising revenue and providing user data to companies such as carmakers who are developing autonomous vehicles without explicit consent from users.
  3. WhatsApp has been known to be struggling to combat spam messages and fake news on the platform. (intentionally)
  4. If the service is free… Then you are the product. I find it intriguing how people don’t seem to mind Facebook being behind it all.
  5. More human than a device. I am sorry to see people share their emotions and sentiments in WhatsApp. I believe it’s like killing a human being in you. 
  6. More to speak than chat. I like to open my thoughts in person; I like to know people in person (face to face), simply not through a chat. Chat messages have not been showing an actual face of the person I am chatting to. 

What happened after I ditch WhatsApp

I was always been a WhatsApp user since 2012. I even remember using this messaging app when it was still called “WhatsApp” (before WhatsApp by Facebook). It has been a long time since I last used it and I am not getting any missed notifications on my phone that someone tried to contact me.

I think the reason I stopped using WhatsApp is that of how it changed. For starters, their privacy policy is not as good as before. They collect your data, including your phone number and other information you share with them, in order to serve you ads or sell them to third parties for advertising. They also know everything about you: your contacts, the messages you send and receive, what type of device you are using, which operating system you are running on, and so much more.

I too faced pressure after I ditched WhatsApp. Here are a few of them;

  1. It was scary to be cutoff from one of our present day common communication channels. I felt no longer part of the secret coffee break conversations.
  2. Disbelief. People just couldn’t understand or believe it. Even my family asked me how we can contact you then? Scary, isn’t? 
  3. Missed invitations and intimations. I found my surroundings, families and friends only invite or intimate their contact using WhatsApp. If you are not on WhatsApp, you won’t be invited or intimated. 
  4. Insulting people. I was (unintentionally) ignoring people that messaged me before. This is seriously the most annoying flaw in WhatsApp. Even though I deleted my account and WhatsApp assured me that this is irreversible, my conversations apparently are still available to people on the other side. Whats’s even worse, is that they don’t see I no longer exist on WhatsApp. They just see I don’t read their messages.

Yes, I ditched WhatsApp but what I gained?

I gained peace of mind. Being ‘out of the loop’ feels like freedom. I am no longer chased by endless fake news (misinformations), useless jokes and random pictures. As a result, I experience less anxiety and I feel more present for the important things in life.

I started calling people again. Sometimes It’s great to hear their voice. But I find most of them are not interested in me and finding it is their waste of time for speaking over the phone (Rather chat). I never mind as far as I live in present and unbiased life.

Now, I can’t imagine going back

Whenever I see people glued to their phones, or checking of notifications, I wonder! Why aren’t more people giving up on WhatsApp?

The reduction in anxiety, less distraction. I feel blessed. Thanks to Lars Crama

Are you ready for it?

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