For years, Yahoo Messenger was my default messaging service. For donkey years! But to each its time and season. Eventually, it just became a chore having to login to be able to send and receive messages. Perhaps now, I have only one or two active contacts left on Yahoo Messenger. It has largely become a ghost town to me.
I have been on Skype for quite a while too, but it never became a steady messaging channel for me. I use Skype about 4 to 6 times a year. Yes; only when absolutely necessary and then I forget about it till the next time.
In recent times, I used Gtalk too, but it never caught on. It never came close to the peak of engagement that I had on Messenger.
There’s also Facebook Messenger. I have never been a fan of this channel either. I have a handful of personal contacts here, but beyond that, its up-hum for me despite Facebook’s huge user base.
While I had a BlackBerry, I used BlackBerry Messenger extensively, but we all know the limitations of that platform. I could only stay in touch with other BB users, and as soon as I was off BB, puff!
WhatsApp is easy. Like BBM, there is no need to login. Launch it and go. It is always on 24/7, as long as your internet service is active. Once you already have someone’s mobile number, if they are already on WhatsApp, instant connection. WhatsApp has become my default messaging app, such that it’s availability is a factor in choosing a smartphone for my daily use. If a mobile platform lacks WhatsApp, I’m just likely to ignore it for personal use.
Most of the communications that I used to do via phone call, SMS, Yahoo Messenger, Gtalk and Skype have been moved to WhatsApp. Chances are that if a fairly close contact is not on WhatsApp, communication between us drops significantly.
This morning, I wondered what life would be like should I get off WhatsApp. Perhaps I could just disable or uninstall it, or switch to a device that has no support for the app. What would happen? Withdrawal symptoms? My phone ringing off the hook daily? Voice and SMS spending shooting through the roof? Or perhaps, a relatively more peaceful life with more time on my hands for other things?
I don’t know for sure, but I am crazy enough to try it out.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.