Story telling has evolved. Everything evolves, and as we all know, the digital age has brought on an unprecedented rate of human evolution.

One of the many (many) things that has quickly become a norm, bringing with it both great virtues and great controversy – is the Whatsapp group. This story telling is unchecked and raw, often conveying useful and vital information, but unfortunately also subject to the downfalls of humanity.

As such, we all have those inescapable Whatsapp groups that drive us completely round the bend. Maybe it’s your child’s class group or a work or family group that you need to be a part of. You can’t leave because it’s a source of essential information, but there is that one annoying guy (or maybe a couple of them) who insist on spamming the entire group a hundred times a day. Or worse yet, the ones who start tit-for-tat personal arguments on the group – *spits* .

What’s that you say? You love your Whatsapp group? It gives you a place to share all your memes, paranoia and political views, you say? Well, we hate to break it to you – but if that’s the case then you probably are that annoying guy or girl!

To help with this perpetual conundrum, we thought we’d put together a list of “Golden Rules” for Whatsapp groups everywhere. Feel free to share it with your Whatsapp groups, send it on to new members, and make sure everyone knows exactly what is and isn’t acceptable on your Whatsapp group.

Whatsapp Groups: The Golden Rules

  • Always keep to the purpose of the group! Don’t share irrelevant messages about other topics.
  • Do not spam the group! If you would like a group to share memes, adverts or deals with then set one up for that exact purpose and invite others to join.
  • Don’t be offended if others leave. Not everyone wants the same information.
  • Do politely excuse yourself before you leave a group.
  • Post your message in one single chunk of text. Don’t.  Post. Every. Word. Or sentence. In. A new. Message. PLEASE.
  • If you’re lurking in a group chat and ‘seeing’ every message, occasionally respond with *something* to remove the stalker vibe that inevitably develops.
  • Don’t create huge groups.
  • Don’t create groups with minors who don’t know each other – no parent wants their kids talking to strangers.
  • Do not have one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages. (click on the person’s name and select “send private message”)
  • Do not post in any group between 21:00 and 07:00 unless it is an all-out emergency. By emergency, we mean the “blood, floods, and broken bones” type of emergency, not the “I needed the cupcake recipe at 2:00 am because I had the munchies” type of emergency.
  • If a message asks for a positive response like an RSVP, don’t reply in the negative. Only say if you ARE able to attend. Don’t double RSVP if a second call to action is sent out for the same event. They already know you’re coming – they are asking those who didn’t RSVP.
  • If someone asks a question and you don’t know the answer don’t respond with “I don’t know”. Seriously. Just wait for someone who knows the answer to reply.
  • Please don’t send in a hundred “thank you” messages. If you feel gratitude towards someone – tell them in a private message.
  • If someone asks a question of a personal nature (like asking for advice) don’t respond if someone else has already answered, or else respond to the person directly in a private message.
  • The group is not a political platform (unless you have specifically set it up for this purpose) No arguing, no heated opinions, no fear mongering, no hyped-up drama, no fake news. Check your sources before you share.
  • Never EVER use a group to berate someone else or air grievances. If you have an issue address it one on one with the relevant person.
  • Don’t add random people to a close-knit group.
  • Always ask someone if you may add them before you add them.
  • Don’t send data-insensitive messages. No-one wants their last 3GB used up on Walmart memes.
  • When the group has served its purpose (the hike is over) delete it.
  • Hit “Mute” on your Whatsapp group (unless you’re part of an emergency rescue group). This is a sanity saver. You will still receive all the messages, but your phone won’t buzz or make a noise for every one of them.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these three questions before you post:

  1. Is this relevant?
  2. Is this necessary?
  3. Is this a good time to post?