There was an argument that caused a spark on a Whatsapp group page I belonged to. A friend of mine whose birthday was to come up the next day asked the group admin to add her boyfriend’s phone number to the group so that she would be able to read her birthday wishes because her phone is faulty. Her boyfriend is not a member of their class. There were different reactions: some were against it, and some agreed. The ones who agreed felt it was okay to honour her request since it was her day, while the other group asked if ‘social media is the best platform to send her birthday wishes and what happened to the usual text  messages and calls?’

The question caught my attention.

In the early 21st century, text messages and phone calls were the popular mode of communication for birthdays, induction ceremonies and the like. But the advent of social media has reduced the rate at which people send text messages and make phone calls.  Social media is a trending platform for birthday and matriculation wishes including yuletide compliments. Some people even wish their friends as if they are marketing them.

The shift to social media has caused lots of argument such as: Is it ethical to wish someone on social media?  Do people really appreciate it? Some even mentioned that since the data used in posting the messages are not free, then it is equal to the text messages and calls.

Eventually, a resolution was proposed by the group admin, which was  to copy all birthday messages to the birthday girl’s boyfriend’s private WhatApp account, then the girl would have to reply via her boyfriend’s phone through the admin’s private account and the admin would forward it to the group. It was quite complicated, but I’m sure you get my drift.

Which do you prefer- Social Media wishes or regular text messages and phone calls?

Based on the above story and personal experiences, would you agree or disagree that social media has done more harm to our traditional ways of doing things than good?



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