The time when businesses advertised on television with offers to reduce the cost of long-distance calls has long since passed. In corner stores, newcomers are no longer searching for the best-pre-paid card. Since cellphones and computers are so common, people may avoid using landlines and access a variety of services that were previously unheard of.

WhatsApp is one of the programmes that has changed the communications environment. Having this thumbnail on their device has given those who have close friends and family in other towns and countries the chance to stay in touch without paying exorbitant data prices. Early adopters of the email were able to communicate with friends and family in the middle of the 1990s as long as they had a reliable internet connection. Businesses didn’t fully understand the benefits of giving all staff corporate email addresses for a number of years.

We appear to be going through a comparable progression at this point in WhatsApp’s development. According to WhatsApp users, only 16% of the messages they get on a weekly basis are linked to their jobs; the majority (84%) are personal. While some businesses may have created WhatsApp groups, especially as a way to stay in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of what we do when we access this programme is devoted to pleasure and communication.

The distinct feature

The simplicity with which pictures can be sent and received appears to set WhatsApp apart from standard text messaging. More than half of users (55%) share photos “every day” or “a few days a week,” including 74% of users between the ages of 18 and 34, 55% of users between the ages of 35 and 54, and 33% of users beyond the age of 55. Our ability to distinguish between fact and fiction may be compromised by the dissemination of links from people we might consider to be reliable, such as friends or family. The information shared online cannot be thoroughly verified. We discovered that 24% of WhatsApp users claim to have come across false information or “fake news” while using the service.

WhatsApp may save time and money, but it is still susceptible to the same reliability problems that affect other online information sources. The older app users seem to have more difficulty distinguishing between fact and fiction.

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