Whatsapp don'ts

Since the launch of WhatsApp, it has caught on like fire. People think that just because they have your mobile number, it is their duty to WhatsApp you quotes, good morning, good night messages, jokes, videos and add you to groups where you don’t know anyone. All this without once finding out what your wish is.

WhatsApp is a cause of great angst for me as I like to limit my time online. I hate constant beeps on my phone and don’t really indulge in much conversation except for very few friends or family. I believe this is a great platform but is not being used very well. This is my attempt at sharing WhatsApp etiquette.

donts on whatsapp

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Here are some Don’ts on WhatsApp Chats

Do not add people to groups without their permission:

It is quite mindboggling how people create groups and just add people on without so much as breaking a sweat. Unless I have been added with my permission I quit the group, no exceptions. The time I spend online is limited, and I have no patience for being part of groups which mean zilch to me.

Don’t carry out personal conversations in groups:

What is with people and their one-on-one personal conversations in groups? I mean you could easily just message that person and do it, right? Why do I have to put up with reading your childhood tales or what you ate for dinner stories? Group conversations should pertain to the entire group unless it is a really small group and close-knit.

Don’t send personal messages to professional contacts:

I really don’t know why I should receive your romantic scribbles or a poem you composed when I share a strictly professional relationship with you. Unless you share a friendly rapport, do not try to get personal with professional contacts.

Don’t spam timelines:

I understand your excitement at finding a good quote or joke 50 times in a day but perhaps the other people are not as enthusiastic. Keep your forwards to few and far between. Again be sure to know if people appreciate that in a group.

Don’t use excessive emojis:

Yes, some people compose complete messages out of emojis. It can become annoying if repeated. Words are there for a reason — to convey meaning. Let’s only try to use emojis to complement words.

Don’t deviate from the purpose of the group:

This is assuming that your group was formed with some purpose. It could be banter, keeping in touch, planning an event or information only but do spell out the group’s purpose when you get people to join and it would help if some guidelines are also shared. More or less, stick to this purpose.

Don’t facilitate rumours:

Of late, people have forwarded a lot of hoax messages and even rumours. Please be careful and at least do a quick google search before forwarding that piece of information.

Don’t message at strange hours:

Okay, you may be a night owl or an early bird but not everyone is built that way. Please keep your messages at unearthly hours only for your very close friends.

Don’t expect an instant reply:

One thing about social media is that it has made us very impatient. Two blue lines and you count every minute before the reply trickles in. People have different priorities and a life as well. So wait some time before pinging again.

Don’t screenshot chats without permission

You may be itching to share the chat because it is funny or witty but do ensure you take the person/s consent before doing this. It ought to be basic courtesy when you are doing so. Also even with permission blurring out names protects privacy.

Hope these guidelines help.

What is your experience with WhatsApp? Do share any other don’ts in the comments.

Pic: Kaspars Grinvald at Shutterstock

Pinnable Image courtesy: Alex Ruhi on Shutterstock

50 Thoughts on “10 Don’ts on WhatsApp Chats

  1. I am going to send this article to some people who, let’s just say, have no Whatsapp etiquettes. You have said everything I want to say to some people. I hate it when people add me to Whatsapp groups without asking first. There is this person who keeps sharing her personal photos in a WhatsApp group of office colleagues . I just want to tell her to that I’m not interested in seeing her husband’s selfie , so please stop!! 😀

  2. Ah, the bane of my existence, aka, Whatsapp 😉 I have made it clear that I am on Whatsapp mostly for work and only communicate with friends and very close family on it. I had briefly turned off the ‘Read receipt’ blue ticks but found it tough when the team works remotely and they are coordinating based on our having seen the message so had to turn it back on.

    I am wary of groups and stay far away from them. Once bitten and all that. Actually, very good tips Rachna and I hope more people take this seriously. Sigh, but it’s a lost cause for some people, I know.

    • Me too, Shy. I am on WhatsApp for work or to just reach out directly to people close to me. But it is how people behave in groups that really annoy me. It does seem like a lost cause as I have muted most groups I am a part of.

  3. Excellent piece! The first point is SO valid… I don’t like being randomly added to groups, it becomes awkward to leave, and then you get these stupid spammy messages all day… dumb forward, long Hindi jokes, videos that ate up my mobile data till I turned off auto download…

  4. I was once added to a group where I couldn’t relate to anyone… I simply jumped out of it. Keeping in mind people’s preferences, my group of friends have created separate groups for harry potter discussions and star war discussions etc (yeah we do that :P) and one common for all to rant it out. 😀 It’s fun that way. And having a mutual understanding of not receiving immediate reply is important.
    Excellent points there. 🙂

  5. Or you can uninstall WhatsApp from your phone and say bye to headache forever.

  6. I am on the other side of the digital divide… I still have no plans to use it or any other messenger app. Somewhere one needs to draw a line to keep sanity..

  7. You hit the nail on the head with your very first point! That’s one thing I get bugged by the most. When I get added to groups without permission. And this happens with FB too. Any social media platform with a scope to build network, this one feature is a bane I guess.

    I use Whats app purely as a personal app to stay connected with my family and friends. I’m a part of a few groups, some that I can’t live without and some I have just simply muted! 😉

    Oh I so agree with what you said about how social media has made us impatient. Ahh that constant niggling to get an instant reply!

    Great post, Rachna

    • Thanks, Deeps. There are only 2 groups that l enjoy being a part of and a handful of people l chat one-on-one with. Rest are on mute. So happy that you related with the post.

  8. Rachna, this is a social service you have done by compiling such a decent and to the point list. I have recently been trolled on a WhatsApp group for a hard hitting post and was wary to see people having no etiquettes while sending messages and seeking replies. Would love to forward this post to such people 😀

  9. Just 2 Do’s for me:

    1. Mute almost all Whatsapp groups which you don’t want to be a part of
    2. Converse with people like you would do in real life i.e. don’t share personal details on chat if you don’t know them well.

    WhatsApp looks like it’s on its way out in a few years 😉

  10. Bang on with all points, Rachna. Especially, the first one. I get so mad at being added without my consent to some random new group, mostly about farewell and welcome parties. In fact, I was about to blog about it too.

    So agree with you on this powerful platform being misused.

  11. I enjoy WhatsApp only because it keeps me connected with my closest friends who live thousands of miles away. Otherwise I simply ignore most messages. If urgent, people will always call. And I prefer email anyway as it helps with time management. Great tips Rachna. 🙂 I remember hesitating before messaging you a long time ago.

    • I enjoy one-on-one conversations as you already know. ? But group chats are so useless. You and l are of the old school thought. Call if urgent. You should not have hesitated. ? We both are evenly matched in our WhatsApp habits.

  12. O those silent whatsapp groups, the unsolicited messages and quotes and adding one without their consent and then asking them to send messages and participate in the conversations! We’ve all been there and we all detest it as much!

    Great tips to be sent to people who do this!


  13. Oh! these chats and groups. Such a waste of time. I am mute on most and interact only on a need basis. Nothing less or more. I don’t know how people get that much time to invest?

    Good one Rachna.

    • Yes, almost all my WhatsApp groups are on mute. Sad, really. But once in a while l plough through the groups to see if l’ve missed any useful information. If only people would just behave properly.

  14. All good things when misused become a pain and WhattsApp is no different. Well enunciated, Rachna! Hope people do give credence to these ettiquettes.

  15. My biggest issue are the good morning, good night messages, as well as the forwarding of spammy and hoax messages! And, it’s mainly my extended family who does it, so there’s no way to even tell them to stop!

    • Ah then you have no respite except muting. My gripe is mostly with groups or people who are not close to me and keep indulging in this kind of behaviour.

  16. Haha! Much needed post of the hour, Rachna. The only gripe is that the ones who need to understand these will probably not read it.

    I have half a mind to ‘Whatsapp’ it to them 🙂

  17. Good for me that I can and have stayed off even Smartphones – and THAT mostly because of my fear of WhatsApp and what it can do to my already mucked up time management 🙂

  18. What a raw nerve you touched with this one Rachna. Whatsapp is a necessity and yet can get extremely painful. Every other day i find myself added to groups of ‘friends’. Drives me nuts. The other day a tupperware lady added me and I had some 30 pictures downloaded on my phone of things I didn’t want. Painful!!

    • Oh yes, a similar thing happened with me with a friend who makes jewelry. It is quite crazy how people are losing basic courtesies of asking before adding.

  19. Though I am on WhatsApp, but I use it mostly when it’s really needed, otherwise I prefer keeping out of most chats and groups. The thing is that very few people are willing to hear out, discuss and change even though our perspective may be right, so for our own peace, have to find ways to change ourselves.

    • Yes, same here, Arti. I mostly stay out of conversation unless really needed especially in groups. Most of my conversations are one-on-one. Thanks for reading.

  20. Excellent points laid down, though I follow all of them, it is imperative for people to know them.

  21. Loved your post, Rachna. To add to the list, don’t try to dominate in a group since after all the group is for sharing and knowing each other’s view.

  22. I sincerely wish that a few people from the groups on my WhatsApp read these do’s and don’ts! All the groups on my phone are on mute. Mostly, I just skim through messages to see if there’s anything important and then I simply delete chats. I wish I had the luxury of time that my WhatsApp group people have!

  23. I second every single thing that you have said here. In-fact I don’t like forward messages at all. I mean, once in a while I don’t mind them, but they are like a chronic illness on whatsapp.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we can make these whatsapp groups and connect with our friends and families like never before. But these overlong forward messages annoy me. And God forbid if we are in a few groups with the same set of people. The forwards are then exponential.

    I have time and again asked my friends and family to refrain, but it’s a lost cause. Sigh.

    • Me too. There is an overload of forwarded messages and images. I don’t know who has the time to read those long, long forwards. Very annoying. Looks like no one is listening.

  24. Your posts are amazing! Loved this one as well. Thank you!

  25. totally agree with all the points you have mentioned , one more point i want to add is …dont send 2km long msgs this is irritating to read.

  26. Amudhakumar on December 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm said:

    Dear Rachna,

    It was nice when i read your post. The point about sharing your personal message to professional group was the highlight.

    I have experienced this recently in one of our business whatsapp groups and I still remember how awkward it was.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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