The Monk

Monk Thoughts #6 : The Blue Tick: Messenger or Gossip?

You know, one of the identifiable hallmarks of effective communication is an encoding and decoding of messages. That is to say, when A sends a message to B, B receives the message, and his reception is made known to A, from which B decodes (understands) A’s message, and then encodes (writes/prepares) a reply/further message where necessary. Without a process such as this, communication is just an exercise in futility (I mean, why bother?)

On all social media platforms which are the popular modes of communication, it is clear for a first time observer to find that they have a means of ensuring accountability in acknowledging the receipt of messages, in order to enable the sender know that his message has been received, and to further anticipate a reply, or where there is no reply, to understand that he has been ignored, or that circumstances are conspiring to hamper the receiver from replying the message. Thus, the sender is in the know as to the goings-on as regards the message.

Forgive me, I made a mistake.               

All social media do the above mentioned, except one.


I have observed that on WhatsApp, there is a particular setting option which allows someone to conceal his or her status i.e if he/she is on line or offline; if he/she has seen and read the message sent to him or her. It is a departure from the norm as stated above, and for some people, it is a welcome development. However, in choosing this setting option, the user is also barred from seeing if the person on the other side has seen/read his message as well. It has also been observed that more females do this than males. You may want to ask why, but I’ll defer my answer to another time.

I have wondered why people make the choice, and I have asked questions. The answers I got point to a plethora of reasons for such choice ranging from the fact that such user is a private person, or that such user is in the act of avoiding some people on his contact list whom have constituted nuisance, or that such user thinks it makes her look cool and mature. In my estimation, I feel this is no way to live.

It must be stated at this point that the use of this privacy setting mode also has its own disadvantages. It has been observed that this has caused paranoia in inter-human relationships, as people do not know when they are being ignored, or when circumstances actually conspire to stop the receiver from replying. Thus, the amount of distrust occasioned by this has contributed wholly or in part to the deterioration of friendships and alliances. 

 I believe WhatsApp is a safe space where one can actually interact with friends and family. As such I do not believe that it is apropos to have any semblance of “CIA level security” to interact with these kinds of people. It shows that if possible, you’d rather not talk to them, and that in no way makes sense.

It is understood that indeed some individuals become nuisance the minute you give them your WhatsApp numbers. Still, I feel it is no excuse. I’d rather deal with a problem head-on than skirt around it. If I face such person directly, such conflict will come to a conclusive end, while trying to escape the responsibility of replying messages by entering private mode will further elongate it.

In the end, is the blue tick on your WhatsApp a messenger or a gossip? Does it serve to show the other person that you have seen his message, or does it rat you out? Is it harmless to you or does it expose you to undesirable people on your contact list?

Only you can answer.

The Monk

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Beast, Monk, Hammer, Nomad.

Ex-Foodie. Cowardly Renegade. Marvel Stan. Onitsha Made. Lawyer. All-round Creative.

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