Updated: Feb 16
Yes, I've joined yet another whatsapp group. I am sure you can relate. Whatsapp groups are the new age social outings and offer the much needed therapy (not all of them, though) from the comfort of your home. And when you look at it, so many have formed beautiful friendships from such groups. You also get to practice your relationship management skills which you need in abundance to survive any group.
I am surprised that I was open to joining another group. Because, at the end of each year, I go through the process of reviewing my membership on whatsapp groups, and removing myself from groups that are quite frankly getting on my nerves.
It's interesting how someone can simply add you into a group, without your consent. I remember on two separate occasion, waking up and realising I had been added into a MFM group (mountain of fire prayer group). Needless to say, before I realised I was in the group, they had removed me. Sharp sharp. Until today, I don't know who the culprit was.
So just by showing an interest you can be added to a group. Then, without notice, you can also be removed. Especially if you challenge the status quo. If you ask me, it's all borderline, bullying, intimidation and harassment.
I'm intrigued at the one-man band whatsapp group admin. As in, this group only has one admin. Thats it. Usually the person who pulled the group together and can not let go of that power and control. The display of power and control is overwhelming. And i suspect, if you look deep down, the only thing that individual has control over in their life, may be the whatsapp group they are managing. Even more intriguing are those who choose to remain in the group (myself included).
Some groups are on the ball when it comes to members conduct and behaviors while in the group. Usually I find this is more so with the professional groups I belong to i.e. medical associations. There is always an objective, no matter how brief. Followed by set rules and regulations that's often posted once a new member joins. I see this as becoming the gold standard for whatsapp group formation in the future. However, the majority of "the other" groups have nothing formal in place. Just an informal, unwritten and unspoken "you know why you are here".
What I found must interesting is often the introduction you give to a group of people you don't know, and most importantly, you can't see. Quite often, the only person you may know is the person who introduced you to the group, and that's it.
So without much ado, you are requested to give your introduction followed by a selfie (this my new group). To a group of strangers (minus one). Very unnerving indeed. The format for introduction:
Reason for being in this group:
This, in essence, is an interview, where the interviewer knows everything about you and you know absolutely fuck all about them. Except, of course, if they have a presence on social media. Who are these strangers? They could be your in-laws, your co-worker, or someone you would rather not be in a group with. So here you are about to over share.
Being a newbie is quite daunting in a room full of strangers. Let alone a virtual room. In a physical room we would shake hands and go through the same formate as above. We would be face to face so no selfie needed. However, the problem is that we are in a virtual room, and only one person is expected to introduce themselves. How fair is that?
As a newbie to an already established group you are also disadvantaged as you were absent during the groups development of "forming–storming–norming–performing", all necessary and inevitable phases in order for a team to grow (Bruce Tuckman 1965).
Its often a lonely beginning, as you stand in the middle and alone.
People are keen to see your face, know your biometrics, your location, status. I just don't understand the 'status' bit. What does that mean? Staus of what? The first thing that came to my mind, is the status of my bank account. As for the reason for being in the group. Let's just say I'm a people person, often "the vibe".
To be continued.....