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5-min read

Tips & Tricks: 10 WhatsApp dos and don'ts

You may be well-versed with how to chat on WhatsApp, send pictures, share videos, and of course, disable the “last seen” timestamp,” but, we think, there still remain some basic simple things that many of us active on WhatsApp should learn.


Updated:June 30, 2015, 11:41 AM IST
You may be well-versed with how to chat on WhatsApp, send pictures, share videos, and of course, disable the “last seen” timestamp,” but, we think, there still remain some basic simple things that many of us active on WhatsApp should learn. While these things (that can collectively be termed etiquette) may not directly add to your WhatsApp abilities, but certainly, can help you appear as a better person on the instant messenger. Read on to know which ones you are already good at, and if there’s something new that you might need to learn.

1. Read the message? Do, at least, a courtesy reply

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We understand that it’s not always possible to reply to every message on WhatsApp instantly (or to have a detailed conversation). You may simply not be available or perhaps, may not be in a mood to have any conversation at all at that particular point of time. But having read a message with no reply sent appears to be a little rude. While that might not be your intention, but it may come across as such. Therefore, it is better to simply drop a message, say, “a little busy right now, will talk later,” or “will talk once I get free,” when you can’t talk at length. But if you are intentionally avoiding someone, then you can give it a skip and can continue with your no-response strategy ;)

2. Show some patience for the party/vacation photos

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There is an unsaid rule about parties now. Whosoever has the best phone at a party, the onus of taking photos is on that person. And the responsibility only ends with having those photos WhatsApped to others. While some are not even bothered about the photos, others just want all of them even before the party gets over. And this is when many of us make others unnecessarily spend their otherwise limited data plan. Isn’t it better to show some patience and ask people to share photos when they get back on WiFi? However, instant sharing of one or two photos should be excusable. Also, if you too have a couple of photos taken with your phone, share them with others.

3. Stop being a pest

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You may be free to keep a track of when someone came online and left without replying to your messages, but avoid making a fuss over it. Instead, be a little understanding. Others genuinely may not be in a position to even send “yes” or “no” to your messages, leave alone detailed replies. And by perpetually venting over not replying to your messages instantly, you eventually may start to sound persistently annoying.

4. Display pictures are to be seen, not probed

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While there is no problem in being curious and asking a friend about others (with him) in his profile picture, but don’t let it become a habit. It’s okay to not know everyone accompanying others in their WhatsApp profile pictures. While others may initially be okay in telling you who’s who, this might get on their nerves if this turns into a habit.

5. Don’t overuse emoji

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There are times when we don’t have an appropriate reply to a message sent on WhatsApp. And this is where emoji comes to our rescue. An apt emoji sent in response is even perceived by others as an interesting reply. But its overuse could convey a different meaning. Sending an emoji in response to almost every message could suggest your disinterest in conversing with the person. Therefore, if you don’t mean to be rude, ensure it doesn’t get conveyed.

Also, avoid using emoji in serious conversations as they could not only tone down the otherwise strong statements, but could also distract readers from fathoming the intended meaning.

6. Be clear in both words and approach

Image: Shutterstock

People with clarity in their thoughts are often taken to be more seriously than others. And how clear you are with your thoughts gets easily reflected in the way you send messages on WhatsApp.

Instead of breaking a message into multiple messages (each sentence as one message), send one message as a chunk. Make sure it’s correctly written and properly structured. Also, avoid using SMS lingo in your messages. WhatsApp doesn’t have those character limits. These small things do leave an impact on how your messages on WhatsApp are received.

7. Avoid being part of a rumour chain

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If there is any message on WhatsApp that you suspect to be untrue, it probably is. Don’t spread it further. It’s better to get the facts checked before you forward it. And in case you fail to get them verified, stop it there.

8. Follow some unstated rules of group chat

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Every member of the group may not be interested in every conversation happening there. And therefore, you should not expect every member to be actively participating in all the group chats.

Also, if a discussion that starts in a group gets to a topic that is of interest to only two people, it is advisable to shift it to personal chat windows.

9. Why to forward all forwarded messages?:

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Just because you think it’s funny does not make it universally funny. You shouldn’t be forwarding jokes on WhatsApp based on what interests you; in fact, such messages should be forwarded based on the taste of people the messages are forwarded to. Also, your habit of forwarding all the jokes that you get may bring you to the category of spammers. This even reduces the chances of your otherwise serious messages being taken in the same way as you may be intending.

10. Wait for a reply before moving on to different unrelated topic:

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You may have a couple of topics to be discussed with a person, but wait for a discussion on one topic to be over before you move on to another unrelated topic. It’s not wise to drop multiple messages on different topics in one go.

And how can any list of rules be without its exceptions? The aforementioned dos and don’ts need not necessarily apply to all your WhatsApp contacts. Often individual equations can override generally expected etiquette.
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