You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2015 10 25Article 389753

Opinions of Sunday, 25 October 2015

Columnist: Brako-Powers, Kwabena

What Shapes Your WhatsApp Status?

Until I saw another man’s picture on my newly-won girlfriend’s Display Picture (DP) while we were chatting, I wouldn’t have been attracted to read her status. The message stung me on my first read. “Sorry for leading you on”, it said. Really? I felt my heart flew into my mouth. “How could she?” I almost heard myself scream. It was good the words never came out since I was in a meeting with my boss in the office. Sweat began to gather on my forehead. I was attracting attention so I reached for my handkerchief and mobbed the sweat. My boss grinned at me. “Are you okay Mr. Brako-Powers?” I nodded amidst smiles. Deep inside of me I knew I was far from better, but I couldn’t bring myself to the truth. I left the meeting with one mission – to learn what shaped her status and if possible about others.
Today, smart phones, hyper-techs, softwares, programs, and applications have come handy bridging the hitherto gulf that laid between us and the rest of the world. In seconds we could be in touch with a love one miles and distance away from us. Programs such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, and WhatsApp have disrupted the traditional way of communication around us. With the turning on of a data, one could be anywhere around the world; read, chat, and shop.
So what shapes your WhatsApp status? The answer to this question motivated me to conduct a survey among my friends. I sampled 411 WhatsApp chats and found the unthinkable. Out of the population, I found out that 223 of the statuses talked about God and Jesus Christ. 161 of the statuses touched on relationship while the remaining 15 rounded on mundane things as the death of a love one, and 5 use default statuses etc. These statuses are largely written in short hands that tire one in his attempts to read them. However, what many people are unaware of is that, WhatsApp status has proven such a compelling platform for voicing misunderstandings, grievances, quarrels, affection for love ones, celebrating birthdays, announcing invitations for programs, nursing broken marriages, and relationships, and announcing breakups of relationships. It has contributed in providing a voice to the voiceless, empowering the defenseless in the society, and making heroes out of cowards. However, the force of its dangers dance around us while we ignore to our own chagrin. I have sampled some of these statuses:
On God, Jesus:
Alhamdulillah; Ramadan Kareem!; I’ve experienced Grace; In His time, he makes all things so beautiful; Oh God I only look up to You; To God be the Glory; Nothing lasts forever. For these sins I seek repentance; Tank God for his protection, mercy nd his blessing upon me; I will always say tank u papa: Amen; With God on my side I’m a winner; Our God is Not Dead But Alive; Carnality is simply losing sight of heaven in ur daily life; Jehovah Nissi; Juma Al Kareem to all muslims; I believe; That all may be one; I am a God-girl, nothing can stop me from making My Daddy famous coz I have an excellent spirit. Just watch me soar; If only Heaven wasn’t so far away…#IJustdeywonder, and Kristo wo fata Nyansa ne Ayeyi.
On Relationship:
U Hv d bEst of mE noW cOmE n TaKE d rEst of mE; Most downfalls & disapp’ts comes from being loyal to de wrong ppl; Never under estimate anyone in life; Oh Casablanca; The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special too; Possession is not ownership; Diary of a Black Mad Woman: Dear Diary, Girls Kasa…lol; A woman who leaves a man of vision for a man with Television will one day watch the man of vision through her husband’s Television; Observers are worried; I prefer a better than beautiful; I remember every word u told me; and No permanent friends or enemies in life.
On Mundane:
De Renaissance in Me is Roarin; Loyalty over competence; Is ur time, enjoy; Invictus; Sika ne b33ma; Precious Mom…Love U Agnes; I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I use to be; Reflections…adukonu; Tough times never last, tough people do; On the day of victory, history is written; RIP Daddy; R.I.P Yuda; BA, LLB, BL, LL.M; Lost all contact again so plss wasup me wit ur name; I’ve lost all my contacts so please add me so I can get your number. Thanks; The school of No Regret; and It’s time.
Default Statuses:
Available; Busy; At School; At the movies; At work; Battery about to die; Can’t talk, WhatsApp only; In a meeting; At the gym; Sleeping; and Urgent calls only. The last count I took, some people are still ‘At the movies’ for several months. What movie could they be watching with their love ones? And which cinema shows movie without breaking?
In the midst of the excitement about smart phones lurks the dark cloud like the famous picture of death moving from one home to the other to claim lives. I also know germinating relationships have been stamped prematurely by some of these uncontrolled outflows of emotions on WhatsApp. I kept the Ghana flag as my status. I can’t explain why I did that, but I can faintly talk about patriotism and nationalism-two words that have lost meanings on Ghanaians.
I phoned my girlfriend when I walked out of the meeting. She narrated stories under a tone that lulled my senses to sleep. She changed the message after that. However, she has not stopped using the platform for voicing her misgivings among other things towards me and her friends. I will get to WhatsApp to read her status when there is a schism between us. I am always proven right. She’s become used to it the way Mahama is used to striking workers in Ghana. Or the way he’s used to bringing about miscalculations in the Ghanaian economy.