The 3 Sacred Rules of a WhatsApp Group

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

38. 20%. 0.

These numbers represent the number of WhatsApp groups I’m currently a part of, the % of my day I currently spend on my phone, and finally the amount of patience I now have for poor WhatsApp etiquette respectively.

In these times of not being able to talk face to face, swathes of inexperienced app users are flocking to WhatsApp and bringing their filthy, annoying habits with them, slowly destroying the souls of us normal people, leading me to repetitive use of the ‘Mute’ function.

So I have decided to create a set of guidelines that I implore you to all adhere to, lest you become the pariah of your group, doomed to a future of loneliness.

Rule 1 — The Emoji Decree

Emojis are a gift. When used correctly, they can lead to good things. My personal favourites are this little guy 🥴. Look at him. Little drunk fool. What’s he been up to? No good I bet!. And then you’ve got the classic 🔥. Someone just been roasted? 🔥 You loving that new Taylor Swift track (of course you are, you have taste, you’re reading this blog) 🔥. The 🔥 is the cornerstone to every good WhatsApp conversation.

Not all emojis are born equal though. I’m sure you’ll be familiar with these particular monsters, overused and pointless. The Michael McIntyre of emojis. First of all we have these little shits 😅 😂. They’re the more modern equivalent to the ‘LOL’, ‘LMAO’, and ‘PMSL’. I’m going to make the bold assumption and say that 99.99% of the time when people use them, they aren’t in fact laughing so much they’re crying. So they’re tools of deceit, much like Instagram filters and Swedish Penis Pumps (which totally aren’t my bag baby). Then you have this one — 😩 — used by the youth today in ways I don’t entirely understand. Much like this one 💯. To be honest I recently turned 29 and these make me feel old and I’m quite sensitive about it. I’m cool yo. I know what I’m talking about.

Oh and The Emoji Movie. If this doesn’t put you off overuse of emojis then I don’t like the cut of your jib.

Rule 2 — This chat ain’t big enough for the 11 of us

No good things come in groups of over 10. So Solid Crew. Cricket. Orgies. Minutes of Michael McIntyre. All of these perfectly illustrate that over 10 is too much and leads to chaos. The other name this rule could be given is the Blazin’ Squad Rule. Blazin Squad had 10 members. The absolute limit. One more member, and it all would’ve fallen apart. But someone in that band’s management team was a genius. For that reason, they achieved musical perfection with their 2002 masterpiece— Crossroads. Those guys pushed it to the very limit and were rewarded as such.

What happens beyond 10 though you ask? A cacophony of message notifications machine gunning into your brain. You hear it start — has someone died? Did Aaron Ramsey score ANOTHER goal after you spent 3 years saying how bad he was? Is there some kind of global pandemic turning us all into the people from WALL-E? No. Not even close. What has happened in fact is some inane chatter about something you don’t care about. In a group of 10 or less — you’re looking at roughly 22.3 notifications. In a group of 20? 4 billion notifications (it goes up exponentially). I’ve done the maths*. Then you get cross conversations, reaction GIFs, STUPID CRYING EMOJIS. Chaos reigns. Suddenly you understand the difficulty of being a teacher of young children. I salute you.

Rule 3 — Collateral Spammage

Suppose you’re in a supermarket. Your best friend is right next to you. You just remembered the answer to a question they had asked yesterday — bleach ISN’T an FDA approved cure for corona. You want to let your friend know this. Which of the following 2 options do you pick?

  1. Tapping them on the shoulder, and speaking to them directly, at normal volume, in a calm manner.
  2. Sprinting to the back office of the supermarket, headbutting anyone who gets in your way, commandeering the speaker system, and whilst directly aiming the message at your friend — announcing it to everyone in the supermarket.

Obviously the correct answer is 1. So why break that in the form of WhatsApp? If you have something to say to someone specific in the group — message them separately. I don’t want to hear about how you keep your majestic beard so full and voluptuous ROWAN, that’s why we keep that other group secret from you and set up a dummy one to make you think you’re one of us now. But you’re not because you used to have a ponytail. Anyway you get the point — the group chat is for group chatter.

Abide by all of these rules, and a WhatsApp group can be brilliant. Full of bantz, sick Paint memes, a way of funneling all conversation with family into one, easy to ignore area. If you are a group admin, please take this responsibility seriously. Set these expectations out nice and early, and eject anyone who breaks them. Channel your inner dictator. Do. The. Right. Thing.

* I haven’t




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Scott Drayton

Scott Drayton

Only the biggest issues discussed.

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