How many whatsapp groups are you in? How many add value to your life? How many were you added to without your consent? A lot of people are in whatsapp groups they would rather not be in simply because they can’t leave without other group members knowing and they want to avoid hurting the group admin’s feelings.
From extended family groups to project team groups to the group your friend created to discuss the latest MMM type scam, whatsapp groups are becoming a huge distraction. Even when a group has been set up for a valid purpose, it’s hard to stop members making irrelevant posts. Some members now post irrelevant content and immediately apologise saying it was sent in error. These “accidents” have become all too common for some people.
As a productive person, you cannot allow whatsapp groups to keep interrupting you as you work to build momentum on important tasks. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to limit distractions from whatsapp groups:
- Mute all groups that you want to stay in but are prone to receiving many messages. These could be groups like your family group and neighbourhood association group. Schedule time once a day to check posts and see if there is anything important for you to take note of.
- If a group is either dead, prone to receiving incessant forwards that are not relevant to the stated purpose or simply not adding value to your life, make the choice to leave the group. It will save you wasted data.
- If you are a group admin, enforce strict regulations on what posts are allowed within the group. Remove offending members immediately. The rest get the message when you kick out a few offenders consistently. You can also restrict posts to group admins until an issue is up for discussion.
Whatsapp groups are just one of the latest ways social media can limit your productivity on an average day. I am sure the day whatsapp finally provides a feature to let members leave groups silently, a lot of groups will lose half their members. Until then, many will endure out of a sense of “politeness.” As a bonus tip, I leave any whatsapp group I am added to without prior knowledge immediately. Digital etiquette demands you inform me why you are creating a group and why I should be a part of it before you add me. You might want to consider adopting a similar attitude.