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The unspoken protocol behind Whatsapp groups…

I saw this on Face Book today:

moms-fb-discussions-article

I can honestly say…. This is (sadly) probably true in about 95% of these types of discussions, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to Face Book groups.

Recently, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Whatsapp Parent/Mom groups set up by both my daughters’ schools and, well…. Um…. Let ‘s just say I had a bad experience, an experience that left me pissed off and seething mad… for a long time… actually who am I kidding, I’m still mad as all hell!

Don’t get me wrong, I do see & enjoy the benefits of the Whatsapp group. I like that I have quick and easy access to my children’s teacher. I like that if I have a question pertaining to school, I can get a quick answer. I love that I get Whatsapp images of what Hannah has been doing at school. Or any important updates or changes in information and when Ava went on her first school outing last week, in the school bus, and I was a nervous wreck, I loved that her teacher could keep us all updated throughout the day, letting us know they had arrived safely, were having a good time and had all gotten back to the school safely. The Whatsapp group works a treat for all that.

But…. Ooooh boy, for new Mom’s to the group, be warned, lest you get a slap on the wrists like I did a couple of weeks ago…. There is a “protocol” to using the Whatsapp group. Find out what your group’s specific “protocol” is, you do not want to find yourself red faced and embarrassed because you broke the unspoken code, even if it was for innocently & maturely (or so you assumed) to try and assist your child with a problem she was experiencing. No no. That is not ok and I was quickly informed that I had broken protocol.

So, let me break it down for you:

What is acceptable discuss:

  • General sucking up to the teacher (meh Teacher’s Pet) 🙂
  • Party invites
  • Play dates
  • Cool specials you saw at whatever store you happened to be visiting
  • Jokes (like the new millennia version of email jokes, remember when you first got email like 20 years ago and you spent the whole day forwarding on jokes?)
  • Starting a mass panic attack about some heinous illness like Swine Flu
  • Oh & a lot of this should happen after 9pm in the evening.

And there I was thinking I was being all mature and stuff because I was trying to use a contact from the group to resolve a conflict!

What has your experience been of these Mom/School Whatsapp/Face Book groups?

Image courtesy  http://www.nickmom.com/more-lols/moms-group-facebook-discussions-end-like-this/

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply Tracey

    I am laughing so hard that I am crying! I literally begged the school principal to delete the ADMIN whatsapp group because I just couldn’t handle the my child has RS Virus because he licked a donky’s bum chats anymore! We had “chats” about everything except ADMIN and the one day it WAS about Admin and non payment all the non payers confessed on the group!

    May 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply cath

    Sharon, this is EXACTLY what I go through, except ours is “No, you can’t ask questions”; “Why didn’t you come to the meeting that was 8am on a Tuesday?” (I MEAN!?) and “if you must send cake to school, make sure its hypoallergenic.

    May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Gina

    Lordy! I hate them. Yes its nice to be able to share info etc but the ‘noise’ is ridiculous!

    At Faiths school they had a procedure in place where every week a set number of students would bring a different fruit (1 student would bring 8 bananas, 1 would bring 8 apples etc…) but parents were forgetting to send the fruit when it was their turn and the teacher decided to scrap it and every child brings their own fruit each day. I lost count at over 80 something whatsapp messages about this particular issue. EVERYONE had an opinon, the insults and nastiness that was flung about, the moaning and bitching. Urrrggggghhhhhhh! So now its mostly on mute and I check once a day if anything is relevant or ask for an email of anything that’s important.

    Oh, and mine is all in Hebrew! Imagine using google translate for over 80 messages of crap!

    May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      OMG on the Hebrew thing!

      May 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm
  • Reply cath

    Ps. That image of the FB thread… SUMS IT UP COMPLETELY

    May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply paddatjiesema

    Hahahaha. So true. I muted the class group but then one time I missed something important. In the evenings I’ll usually hear the message ping, and first ignore it, thinking it is probably not important. Then I’ll hear a second ping that I’ll consider leaving what I’m busy with and when I go and check there will be 30 messages that all started with “Has anyone seen J’s grey jacket”, 10 people replying “No”, 10 with other things that’s also missing, and 10 people saying how you should be teaching your child responsibility.

    But I agree there are many things that I love about it.

    May 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Or 10 people all going Thanks Teacher …
      FFS! SHUT UP! STOP STOP!

      May 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Cat@jugglingact

    Half of our last bookclubs’ discussion was not about books, but about the stupid Whatsapp groups. But the school is getting clever on this one – when one is started the teacher specifacally asks only to reply if you have an answer ie if she asks who can bring something don’t answer if you cant, also no pretty pictures, etc It does help – just a little

    May 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    omg thank goodness I am not on a school group one – no doubt I would also break protocol. I am on a street one – which is okay since most people respect the privacy of everyone’s phone and then it only lights up a lot during load shedding, cable theft etc. But recently a new member joined who thinks EVERY CAR in the street is a shady criminal and when load shedding stops is always the master of the obvious who posts ‘we’re back’. Ya thanks I saw that. And then there’s the drunk, belligerent guy who is super sarcastic but nobody has taken him on about it – next time he berates us all for not reporting an electricity fault I may just do that. Whatsapp groups are the devil.

    May 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    I am SO tempted to share the link to this post on ours, hahahaha!

    May 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply A Love Beyond Measure

    Ah Whatsapp groups are crazy. I am on a security alert group for our area……and it was all cool until one day someone asked if anyone had seen her cat *dum dum dum* She got reprimanded immediately and banished to the chat group.!!!

    May 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm
  • Reply Belinda Mountain (@BelindaMountain)

    Wahaha what an excellent topic for a blog post! I have also had to get used to these…at the beginning there were people being being told off and there was lots of passive aggressiveness….eek! But saying that, I’ve been pretty lucky with ours – most are reasonable people who have little time to waste. Good luck to us all!

    May 28, 2015 at 6:15 pm
  • Reply Charlotte aka The Stiletto Mum

    Sharon. I am involved with every activity at my girls schools. So I have 10 if not more whatsapp groups. I admin all of them and I pretty quickly remove people from the groups after sending them private message with a warning. Things can get out of control quickly. Each time a new person gets added I msg as reminder saying what the group is for and what is not allowed.

    May 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply Sam

    so there is a benefit of being a school mom outcast – no Whatsapp groups! Yay 🙂

    June 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply anasilvasimoes

    Im on the fence with this one – sometimes I wish there was a whatsapp group for my little one’s class – send out bday invites – or get well soon fellow student – but i am beyond words petrified if it all turned claws and grrrrr on a parenting group.How would you look at one another at a parents meeting or kids birthday party? Whatever happened to the designated class mom that trended a few years back in PVT schools (Im told) did this work – for those who know what a class mom is all about?YAY or NAY

    June 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm
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