I haven’t checked my phone for a day and I had around 180 unread messages on my WhatsApp the next day, out of which around 150 were forwards. Of course, all of them were sent by our dear Generation-X in different WhatsApp groups.
Would you deny, if I say that, they are driving the millennials bonkers with their WhatsApp forwards every day? Let’s vent it out through this post.
Overdose of WhatsApp forwards
I know this is not a brand new thing that is happening now, yet this issue not only persists, but keeps growing day after day. WhatsApp has undoubtedly become the older generation’s go to app for socialising. Of course, for us too. But what is the proportion that the older generation are using it for normal conversations vs forwards? 20:80 out of my observation.
Every day the younger generation are swarmed with infinite forwards from their family groups. It starts with ‘good morning’ forwards and goes on to random videos, fake news, sexist humour, the so called ‘facts and figures’, how to’s and what not to’s. I am not talking about 10 or 20 forwards a day; 100 to 200 a day is exhausting us and also our battery.
The group chats, which consist of multiple age groups, are majorly dominated by the Gen-X with their forwards. There is no scope for anybody to have a normal conversation in the group because it gets washed off in the wave of forwards.
Sometimes I get a same forward from my dad multiple times from various other groups. Some other times people in one group forward the same message without even checking that it was already sent. I wonder if they are even reading the messages they forward or just forwarding them as they come.
I have warned my parents multiple times about how much the fake news culture prevails now and that we shouldn’t take part in spreading them around without checking the facts. All that misleading information might cause some harm somewhere.
The Emotional Drama
“Mom, Dad. Err, I think you guys are addicted to WhatsApp,” I hesitantly said one day. They got all emotional on me for pointing out at that.
My dad is a sheer example of this addiction. His day starts with WhatsApp and ends with WhatsApp. When I visited them recently, I noticed that the number of conversations we had during my stay were less than the forwards I received from him through various groups. I got so fed up that I stopped checking any of my group chats lately.
They also get sentimental, “we are forwarding important information which might be useful for somebody.” “How else do we socialise with people who are far away?” and so on.
One of the reasons for this addiction could be that the older generation feel rewarded and smart by all the access of abundant information. WhatsApp could be their first experience with being social on the internet and they are still overwhelmed with it.
“The Corona virus vaccine is coming by the next month,” said my parents several times since the pandemic started. I ask them how do you know that and they say, “it’s true. I saw it on WhatsApp.”
Another reason probably, is that the Gen-X, have trust in all kinds of published media much more than the millennials.
Also, they might not be very familiar with concepts like spamming and clickbait, which could be causing this excessive forwarding.
Whatever the reason might be, they seem to be real stubborn about not quitting this forwarding pass-time.
Millennials are no less
Nonetheless, the millennials also spend a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram and other social networking apps. Younger generation is no less addicted to social networking, but that’s a different story. And it has already been discussed multiple times.
Too much of anything is bad
On a serious note, I am genuinely concerned about the amount of time my parents are spending on their phones these days.
I would love them to be tech savvy and use all the modern technology for their benefit, but this insane WhatsApp forwarding has to stop.
I know the Gen-X might have gone through enough hardships, they might be experiencing midlife crises, or it might just be boredom out of retirement, but is WhatsApp addiction a fruitful solution?
There are so many other activities in the world they can do. They can pick up a new hobby; something they always wanted to do, but never had time for it. Share the wisdom they gained from life in some useful way. Or travel to different places until they have the physical energy to do so.
I feel thrilled when my parents send me their pictures or share what they up to, or even have a normal conversation on WhatsApp, but I don’t want to drown in their forwards.