Sometime back I read an article on the internet which talked about how family WhatsApp groups are toxic and how they are spreading nonsensical news and stuff. And then the blog writer decided to quit her family group and people appreciated her a lot because we all face the same issue when it comes to receiving those daily cringes worthy good morning and religious forwards with a pic of baby Krishna in the background and whatnot. And eventually, people decided to leave their family groups after reading that article.
But I didn’t. For various reasons. Firstly I wanted to see how far these stupid forwards sent by my own family members can go. How long they will keep forwarding national anthem’s declaration by UNESCO and click here to get Flipkart coupons. I lost all my patience during recent Gujarat elections when they kept sending all hoaxes and forwards to the group. I was on the verge of leaving the group but then one thing hit me – Why are they doing this?
Human behavior. Everyone wants attention. My grandpa is sending texts to the group in a hope that everyone should think about him atleast once in a day. My uncle who works in the banking sector forwards bank related forwards because somewhere subconsciously he is aware that it’s his duty to help family members. My parents send those religious forwards of why my religion is the best religion in the world because they want their kids to leave nihilism and start going to temple every day. It was as simple to understand them. All they wanted was attention and a micro-fame of ‘see I told you’. See I told you Modi will win Gujarat again. See I told you Bitcoin market would crash. See I told you protein shakes aren’t good for health. See I told you.
Now after understanding basic human behaviour, as a responsible and aware netizen, It was my duty to reverse engineer them instead of leaving them to continue such stuff. I called them up one by one and talked to them generally about how hoaxes and rumours are spreading in the country and how we are responsible for all these. How we do not check the source of the news and how we create unwanted panic among us. They instantly understood my point, not a single family member protested, why? Because guys you have to understand one simple thing. Just like we trusted our elders in our childhood for money and food, they trust us blindly when it comes to “Internet”. We are much more experienced than them when it comes to using WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media platform. Three years back how many of you remember your parents using WhatsApp or your mom asking you to make her Instagram account? And today, thanks to jio, our parents are scrolling continuously on Facebook. They have a WhatsApp group of almost everything.
Guys, times are changing fast. So fast that it is really difficult for our parents and grandparents to adapt things. But they want to. As a human being, they want to grab your attention. It feels good to them like It used to feel good to us whenever we got more than 100 likes on facebook. If you won’t teach them about new things and about being a responsible netizen, who will?
As a request, do not leave your family WhatsApp group. Do not be a douche-bag rebel in a family. Call them up, teach them a thing or two. Teach your grandpa how to use snapchat. Teach your mom how to use insta story feature. Teach your dad how to run a Facebook ad for his business. They are waiting to learn all these things and eventually things will change. Running away from problems is never a solution.