WhatsApp is a top app when it comes to instant messaging services.
Even though you still get voice and video calling services as well, it’s the messaging service that has earned the app over a billion users across the globe.
What makes WhatsApp such a popular app is that it’s free to download and use. But this is not everything that has attracted over a billion people – and more keep joining the party – across the globe. The app has a very simple and easy to use interface that has put everything to the most basic level possible. Whether it’s starting a new chat or call, making a few tweaks to the settings or even starting a group chat – everything is as simple as ABC.
The ability to enjoy group chats on WhatsApp has made the app even more popular and useful. People who share common things can have join the same group and share their ideas without any physical meetings, even when on the go. It gets even better as the app is not a data hog, meaning you can even enjoy its services in areas with poor 2G connections.
Given that the app works on just about every other platform, be it Android, Windows or iOS, it is easy to find the app on almost every smartphone out there. With the growing number of cheap Android devices in the market, almost all teenagers across the globe own a smartphone. While some have claimed that WhatsApp has had a negative effect on the ability of young people to socialize, a new study has some positive talk about what this app does to studying teenagers.
According to the study, WhatsApp improves the communication between teenagers, allowing them to be more open to expressing themselves with their peers as opposed to what happens when they are in classrooms. From the findings, it was determined that teenagers who are in WhatsApp groups feel that they can express themselves in better ways when chatting via these groups than when in school, something that helps them develop relationships that are closer and more open with their classmates.
Ariel Kizel, who hails from Israel’s University of Haifa, says that usually, these group chats are made of members who trust each other. This alone is enough for the group members to want to meet physically since they have now developed a warm and human social environment around each other.
The study took into account two groups that consisted of eight teenagers aged between 16 and 17 as well as two other groups with eight teenagers each aged between 14 and 15. Apparently, these groups helped break the barriers that are created by the hierarchical divisions in school – barriers that eventually affect any physical bonding between the divisions. But for a WhatsApp group, all these divisions are broken down, turning the entire classroom into a homogeneous group.
Ideally, the group is a place where respect for language is paramount, with all group members there because they share the same terms and signs as everyone else, one student said. Another added that one feels there’s more intimacy and security when chatting in these groups because no one is judging you thanks to the fact that there’s no eye or any physical contact – only words and signs.
In short, what this study says is that WhatsApp is a cool tool when it comes to promoting socialization, contrary to what some have labeled it to be. There’s belief that the app has introduced social barriers where everyone one has turned to their smartphone for communication, even when in the company of each other.
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