I started meditation with my great friend Josep around 5 years ago – and that was the cause both of us deleted Whatsapp.
When we deleted it, we discover 5 things that we never expected that changed our lives.
- So here it goes the first reason. It’s probably the only obvious reason of the 5.
And it is that Whastapp was affecting our inner state.
We didn’t know it was happening, but after finishing a long meditation session and feeling peaceful, we felt a rush of going back to our phones, and it put us in a different state.
So Josep had the idea to delete Whatsapp and see what would happen.
And to give you an example of how we felt when we did it:
It was like leaving a very busy city, full of cars, noise, pollution…
To a small beautiful town, next to the mountains, where everything is green, the sky is blue, and everyone moves in a very quiet peace.
We felt much better without having to travel there.
I think using Whatsapp with a lot of moderation can have similar feelings, give it a try!
- The 2nd reason was life changing.
And I thought it would happen exactly the opposite.
Not having Whatsapp allowed me to bound much more with my friends.
Because I was meeting fewer people I spent a lot of time with my closest friends.
That allowed us to create a very deep friendship and a strong group of friends.
I feel they are my family.
We love each other, trust each other, and care for each other.
My friends have become one of the things I feel more graceful and admiration.
When Josep or me are travelling around, our group of friends suffers because it is harder for them to meet.
They are happy when we are back, so meet all again.
So, if you want to create a very strong group of friends, you could use Whatsapp intentionally to meet much more with your group of friends.
And invite your new friends over. So you will spend time all together, and build a bigger group.
- The 3rd reason was mind-blowing. No-one talks about it.
Before deleting Whatsapp I was seeing almost every day a friend that was toxic for me.
The way he talked to me made me feel so bad.
My self-esteem was very low.
I know I had to stop seeing him for a year but I couldn’t, he was one of my best friends.
After deleting Whatsapp I never saw him again until a few years passed.
I actually tried to meet with him, but for some reason, not having Whatsapp makes it very hard to meet with people who is toxic for you.
It can sometimes happen that you meet with someone toxic for you, but once or twice, and that’s it.
Deleting Whatsapp has helped me tremendously to recover my self-esteem, keep it up, and stop hanging out with people who is toxic for me.
So, if you are using Whatsapp, be aware if you are meeting with poeple you do not want to meet, and maybe set some limits!
- The 4th reason is critically important, but it is so subtle that it is very difficult to realize.
Now we do not plan things forward.
We wait until the last minute to say if we are going to meet, where, and when.
These can create stress and loneliness.
Stress because you have to be worried all the time, checking your phone, to see if you are going to have a plan, and the details.
At the same time, you cannot make plans with other people because you are waiting for confirmation.
So we put the other people in a waiting list.
And the way it can create loneliness is this one:
We do not have our weeks planned in advance with social activities.
Imagine if you know that every week of the month is:
Monday at 5pm you are meeting friends to go for a tea…
Tuesday at 4:15pm in front of the office to go to play pádel…
Wednesday at 6pm in the Barceloneta beach in front of Bacoa restaurant to play volley…
And all the week like this.
Suddenly you feel more social and you are more excited about the week.
The famous psychologist John Gottman called these “rituals of connections”.
Now that you know it, you can use Whatsapp to start creating these rituals!
- The last reason is very counterintuitive. You might not agree with me at the beginning. But I think that later you will see what I mean.
The type of communication, and behavior, that you have with someone, will depend on the medium of communication that you choose to have with this person.
Let me explain to you with an extreme example.
Imagine that you have a friend called James.
You talk with him only through a fixed phone.
When you do not answer, or he does not answer, it is okay.
You don’t worry. You think he is not at home. And he thinks the same.
He and you, would never say things like:
“Why didn’t you call me in the last 12 hours?”
Or “I think you hearded my call, but I think you didn’t want to answer, why? You don’t care about me?”
This will not happen because this medium of communication has different types of expectations. And therefore our behaviour is different.
But with Whatsapp we all know how different the behavior is.
I think that we cannot blame the other person. The expectations come by default with the medium.
So I see that we can do two things:
First thing, explain people on how you use the specific medium. So that the expectations are different.
The issue with this option is that they will understand it rationally, but emotionally they might need a lot of time to totally integrate it.
The second thing you can do is to change the medium, and the expectations will change automatically.
I talk with friends overseas with email and I love it.
I know you can see the different expectations that email has vs Whastapp.
I think that we can classify the mediums in two types of communication, with different degrees inside of each:
Permission communication, like email, and interruption communication, like calls.
Where would you put Whatsapp?
So now, you can think more about each medium that you choose, and explain people how you use each medium!
- Of course having Whatsapp have its benefits. Some benefits are very good and I really love them. That’s the reason it is so popular.
But we need to think for ourselfs if the benefits it gives us covers the price that we are paying.
And if we decided to use it, we need to think as well how we will use it.
For me, what Whatsapp was giving me, and how it was affecting me, it didn’t cover the price.
I found other ways to have the similar benefits that Whatsapp was giving me.
Each person is unique, and with different needs, so decisions will vary.
Now with all this information, it’s your time to think if, and how, you want to use your Whatsapp!