Note: Looking back at this post in July 2017, it’s amazing to even think of how much things have changed over the course of nearly 3 years. I’ve changed, the world around me has changed, relationships have changed. This just might be the relic of 2014 me.
Whatsapp is one of my favourite apps. It keeps me conencted to all my friends, past and present, and the groups are crazy and give tons of laughter.
Somewhere along the way, all the notifications and pings got the better of me. I would be busy and still read all the messages in any group chat. I started to have FOMO. Soon, my relatives and my Dad joined it. I waited for the ability to hide my last seen to be available on Android. ( Yeah, not an Apple guy. )
3 weeks ago, my father got a posting in Zambia. He has since travelled from India, my country, to Zambia. That’s when Whatsapp truly proved its worth. Separated by a 3 and a half hour time zone difference, Whatsapp is the one thing that instantly connects me to my father. We share photos of our daily life, keep up with each other, I get advised by him daily :P. In short, we still keep in touch through Whatsapp, without any need to create an account or adding each other as friends.
That, I believe, is the power of technology. Technology isn’t about apps and companies that have billions of users or a $50-billion valuation. It isn’t about which app developer got selected into which accelerator. Technology isn’t about which companies are pushing the frontiers of future inventions or developing physical goods that pull us into the web of information. True technology is invisible. It fades into the background, and does its job well.
I don’t want an app that connects me to friends, gives me coupon codes, breaking news and celebrity gossips, protects my phone from viruses and phishing attempts and savesy battery. I just want one app that does its one task fucking well.
Technology was supposed to make life easy. It still does, but the world is running behind valuations and data mining and advertising and user acquisition. The simple idea of connecting people with their friends is what Whatsapp executes. And it does it perfectly well. From anywhere, anytime. That’s technology.