The GuardianThe Guardian

‘So many people tell me they wish they could get out!’ Can we escape the tyranny of WhatsApp groups?

By Sirin Kale

13 Sep 2022 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

A relic of global lockdowns, what once was a useful way to remain connected now feels like a hostage situation. Users will soon be able to exit groups without notifying other members.

As I write, I have 101 unread WhatsApp messages, 254 unread iPhone messages and 46,252 unread emails across three separate accounts. For me, Inbox Zero is a faraway goal, as unachievable as mastering the perfect cat’s-eye flick, or learning how to cook.

But it is the WhatsApp messages, specifically the WhatsApp group chats, that terrorise me the most. If I were a woman of courage, I would simply exit these chats as soon as I am added to them; but I feel the weight of social obligation, and so I remain.

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