WhatsApp addiction .. How does a smart application control our lives? | technology

It was not long ago that we were happy and fortunate to spend time playing the “snake” game on the “Nokia 3310” phone, and at the time we thought it was the most technology that could be achieved, because that phone from Nokia was a pleasure for bystanders, at least In our eyes we are the children of that generation.

The world has changed with the advent of smartphones, after which we are almost craving for their latest releases, games and applications that have entered every part of our lives. Technology has taken us down a “rabbit hole” and we have not gotten out of it anymore, we are almost so immersed in our smartphones that we have forgotten our own intelligence.

In fact, it is no longer as nice as it used to be with the Nokia 3310, especially with our constant drowning in it, and it takes up a lot of our time and nerves, even though we all know we spend less time on our phones, but few of us do.

Our reliance on screens has increased since the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, as 54% of adults in the UK – for example – now use their screens almost constantly, and half of them spend more than 11 hours a day navigating to their mobile screens star, according to research recently done by the University of Leeds.

It has largely affected several aspects of life, from family and family relationships to the workplace, as companies have begun to intervene after noticing that many of their employees and customers have become “zombies” living within their phones, such as the English author Lucy Burton stated.In an article published by the British newspaper “Telegraph”.

One of the biggest culprits behind this addiction is the instant messaging app WhatsApp.

A story called WhatsApp

WhatsApp was created in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and Koum was the one who saw the huge potential to run through the Apple Store after buying the iPhone for the first time. In his life in 2009, Koum later revealed that his main motivation for creating WhatsApp was his unwillingness to miss calls while in the gym.

The application, developed by Igor Solomennikov, a programmer found by Com and Acton at a remote workplace, took advantage of Apple’s push notification feature to update users’ networks. The instant messaging feature has become the most important feature of the application as the application mentioned Business Of Apps platform in a recent report on the application.

WhatsApp was unique at the time because it managed to provide a free messaging service that allowed users to log in with their phone numbers. The application was an immediate success and quickly reached 250,000 active users after its launch, and that was enough for Acton to convince a circle of fellow Yahoo employees to share $ 250,000 in seed funding for the application. to develop.

WhatsApp included the multimedia messaging service at a later date, and it was released on the Android system, and since then there have been qualitative leaps in its use and distribution, as it was ranked first among the 3 most downloaded applications in the Apple and Android stores. By October 2011, a billion messages were sent through it daily, and by 2013, the application had more than 200 million active users.

That was enough to open the eyes of giants, especially Facebook, which saw in this application a fierce competitor to be acquired, which actually happened in 2014 in a $ 19 billion deal in one of the biggest acquisitions in history.

In fact, WhatsApp has become a viable alternative to email through live chat, the ability to send files, photos, videos and many other features that are widely used at work, as companies form group conversations that enable teams to interact with each other. to communicate, and managers to communicate with employees, and all this has made WhatsApp always a daily companion for many of us, whether in our personal lives or at work, as the “nextbillion” platform mentioned in a report on this application that has occupied and continues to be the world.

Currently, WhatsApp is the most popular and widely used messaging application in more than 100 countries around the world, with over two billion active users registered, and it is one of the few applications downloaded more than 5 billion times, and it generates an annual revenue of between $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion for a company. Facebook, which is also the cause of addiction for many people around the world, and the cause of many companies losing millions of dollars every year, according to a report by the “Business of Apps” platform.

whatsapp addiction

Returning to author Lucy Burton and her article in the Daily Telegraph, where she quoted a restaurant owner in London who said he was “considering banning the WhatsApp application for employees outside working hours, given the amount of work-related messages “At inappropriate times, it means employees are not doing it. They can never stop working completely, as messages haunt them, even during their rest hours and days off.” But the author also notes his addiction, ending his conversation with her by saying, “If you have to contact me, it’s better to use WhatsApp.”

The author also quoted members of the Great Teachers’ Union in the UK who recently said that late-night WhatsApp messages from school principals “suppressed morale”. One member complained that principals responded to unanswered emails outside office hours by “creating WhatsApp groups that keep ringing for hours all night while you try to rest.”

Attention should be paid here to the way employees use their smartphones, after numerous owners and managers of restaurants and bars said it was too much for phone-addicted customers.

Companies banning the application

The Samuel Smith restaurant chain banned the use of mobile phones in 2019, and the well-known “The French House” restaurant in the Soho area in the heart of the British capital, London, announced on its website: “No music, no music. “No machines, no televisions, no cell phones,” and said the removal of such “distractions” would be a “refuge” for his patrons from all this technical inconvenience, Burton noted in her article.

The Michelin-starred restaurant “St. John” occupies a similar position, in this context founder and chef Fergus Henderson said: “Your phone is not your spoon to eat, it should not be on the table.” Many would agree with Henderson that the cell phone is an unwanted guest in restaurant halls.

The author points out that people’s addiction to phones and applications is exactly what technology companies want, after spending many years mastering the art of constantly looking at screens, and making big money from this stare, but this unprecedented addiction. , especially for the WhatsApp application, start costing Employers have millions of dollars, because through WhatsApp, messages can be released in a matter of seconds without thinking, and some of these messages can contain sensitive information about work, which raises fears in some of the most sensitive sectors, such as the banking sector.

HSBC revealed earlier this year that it is being investigated by US authorities for abusing WhatsApp, while JP Morgan has already been fined $ 200 million for the same accusation. These bodies last December.

The campaign to use WhatsApp also scared many investors, and one of them told the author that one of the company owners “prevented him from using the application while talking about work.”

Burton explained in her article that the private sector is not the only one losing patience with the application. Last April, a report issued by the British Government Institute concluded that “Whitehall” (the center of the British government) must “control” how ministers are used. The prime minister’s office said Boris Johnson’s WhatsApp messages about “suspected parties” in Downing Street were “no longer available”.

Our addiction to our phones and the constant and immediate conversations in it have a price, WhatsApp has reached its peak, and it’s time to put strict limits on our addiction to it.

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