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The Whatsapp menace

Communication, On my mind now

18 April 2015 | 0 Comments

Right, so you got this application on your mobile contraption? I bet it says last seen like 10-seconds ago?

I find this application to have taken over people’s lives. People live on this and depend on it too much. Whatever makes you happy.

Yes, I do use this as well, mainly for fun, keeping in touch with family and friends, during travels, and sharing pictures, even the odd gossip.

My issue is that when this tool is used to replace the actual face-to-face voice communication which is needed in business. Call it old school, I don’t care however, I can’t imagine if anyone wants to replace actual communications with voice, face-to-face via this tool? What is your take in it?

This got my goat when we were about to roll over into implementing the Good and Service Tax (GST) into our business operations. Now bear in mind, I had spent 9-months preparing, testing and then ensuring that it is ‘Systems Go’ when the time to rollover comes.

As expected, one or two matters got overlooked and then with that started the flurry of messages on Whatsapps discussing this. Unfortunately, I got suckered into it and then started being involved in some communications. It snowballed into a beast. Major issues were debated and misunderstood. All to my alarm!

‘This is not happening’ I yelled at myself.

So, I replied in one of the texts: ‘Please ring me in 15-mins’ or ‘Please arrange to call me after your dinner’ and even, ‘Please ring me so that we can talk about this to clearly understand the issue at stake, please call me whenever convenient for you’

See that? ‘Whenever convenient for you’

That is how far I went. When convenient for you. Never mind me.

All kinds of excuses came, I am having dinner, I am having guests, I am outside now, I am busy’

Yes, ‘I am busy’ was one of the reasons they cannot call. But can then text me more questions about the matter in hand. So I lost it, or actually I must say I got hold of the situation.

I then drafted this and posted to these folks as follows:

‘In the past, I have been using the tool Whatsapps for communication with family and friends for fun, sharing pictures, confirming up events and gatherings, even sharing gossips.
But now it seems that it is being used for complex business conversations which actually should be actual voice conversations by phone or Skype (by appointment).
Therefore as of today, I will cease communicating complex business matters by Whatsapps texting.
If you feel my input to your business matters, then pick up the phone and call. Or make appointment to speak at a pre-scheduled time.
I am no longer risking our credibility if indeed a communication was misunderstood and it jeopardized your business (and eventually mine).’

Yes a bit long winded but I held my grounds. Total silence from me when more questions still popped in via text. So they got the message.

Next morning, I received a phone call and in just 6-minutes, the entire issue which was going like a game of table tennis going back and forth and back and forth, was completely understood and resolved.

So I said, look I’ll use this tool for fun and even for a little flirting, but sorry, not for business – not from today onwards. If you feel my input into your business is going to be of value, pick up that phone and call.

Are people now not willing to converse and have conversations to understand better? Is Whatsapps or any of these new tools (there are many of these) being used to replace talking? Are people hiding away?

I don’t know about you, but I am holding my ground firm. If you feel my input matters to your business, pick up that phone and call. Or make an appointment of when we can both speak.

Coincidentally, the very same day, someone posted a picture with these words: ‘Nobody is that busy. People will always find the time for you, if they value you’

Now I like this ground I am now firmly grounded on!


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