how Whatsapp injects social bond into our confined lives

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how Whatsapp injects social bond into our confined lives


<span class = "image" data-attrib = "Reuters" data-caption = "There is an increasing number of discussion groups on the essential Whatsapp online messaging service. Often funny, sometimes anxiety-provoking, these exchanges take an essential place.

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© Reuters
There is an increasing number of discussion groups on the essential Whatsapp online messaging service. Often funny, sometimes anxiety-provoking, these exchanges take an essential place.


“Six. Seven. And eight.” Ludivine totals her discussion groups on WhatsApp. In her entourage, she was one of the last to get started, only two years ago. “Today, I only communicate this way. Is it okay ‘hi, is it rolling?’ in the top 5 movies to watch before you die. ” The mischievous blonde, communication consultant, resumes: “It’s a little creepy in recent days, so we adapted it into films to watch during confinement …”

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She kindly makes fun of a friend who absolutely wants to convince her to download The Young Ladies of Rochefort or worse, the over-saga Die hard. To avoid the cacophony of groups with large participants, this young thirty-something began to voice memos. “It’s the best way to keep my mouth shut,” she said, smiling. “I’ve converted friends there.” One has just written to him – on WhatsApp, of course – because he is surprised to have received none for several hours.

The volume of WhatsApp messaging has been “multiplied by five” in recent days

Didier sighs on the phone: Wednesday when he wakes up, his group “Let’s go have a drink” posted 67 unread messages. With a weary glance, the journalist sees messages related to the epidemic, the suspension of sports competitions, to girls … “It is often a stress reliever but, for the past few days, the discussion has been spreading even more in all the senses.” Besides, he muted it, to avoid being disturbed by an audible notification with each new friendly aphorism. This one snatched a guilty smile from him: the motto of the Vichy regime diverted into “Work. Family. Pasta. Rice”.

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According to Stephane Richard, the CEO of Orange, the volume of WhatsApp messaging has been “multiplied by five” in recent days. At Facebook, which bought the mobile application in 2014, there was a doubling of the number of calls in the countries most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, namely Italy, Spain and France. Used wisely, the app with the famous apple green logo injects social ties into our confined lives.

Connected messaging is also the place where anxiety and fake news are poured out

The humorist Pablo Mira reveled “in the floodwaves that flared on the group of our show By Jupiter, on France Inter”, which brought together fifteen participants in the lively spread. Very active on other networks like Instagram, the satirist also only participates in family groups. Kathleen, a lawyer in Seine-et-Marne, would never have imagined an exchange of this type with … her doctor. An appointment, planned for a long time and not requiring auscultation, finally took place online. “It didn’t last long, but I had to explain to him where to sit in relation to his camera, she laughs. At the end, I no longer saw only her nostrils but her whole face, it was nice.”

Since social distancing pushes us ever more in the arms of connected messaging, it is also the place where anxiety and fake news are poured out. To fight against their dissemination, the American company also launched this week an information center on the coronavirus. Charlene saw the discussion group of her choir transform into poor local scientific advice. Saturation was not long in coming … Like many others, Myriam, a 27-year-old consultant from Ile-de-France, saw rumors of an impending curfew passing by at the start of the week: “Police and army in the streets while “We are going to have thousands of sick people. We are going to shower.” The author of the info got hit by his friends. Let’s say, now, his old friends.

Break links or accept annoying messages and notifications that interrupt telework? Difficult to choose. “I have notifications all the time, so when I really need to concentrate, I turn my laptop over so as not to see the screen, Ludivine says. But without my group” Granny ‘, I would no longer have news from my cousin who went to Singapore or my grandmother. Unthinkable. So I tolerate the disadvantages. WhatsApp is my drug, I couldn’t do without it. ”

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