Lately I’ve been classified as an unadapted person by my friends and coligues because of my rejection to this messaging app. They say that a techie professional (as I consider myself) should use this application and they always ask me “Why don’t you use WhatsApp?”, so here is my answer.
In economics there is the well known Law of Diminishing Returns, which simply states that at some point the levels of profits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
Well, what it has to do with WhatsApp? In my opinion, and what I see in most of my friends, is that this very powerful app is just too much for the job. Most of them misuse the application with hundreds of meaningless messages and pointless pictures. Finally they productivity decreases paying attention to unnecessary messages.
Last week I was surprised by the average times a person checks on they mobile. The number was 150 times a day! But does this constant checking made any significant impact on they productivity. I highly doubt it.
In my case I work every day in front of my laptop with my old Blackberry phone on the desk and often with a tab on Trello, Jira or Slack depending on the project I’m working on, and they do provide a high level of coordination and communication without distracting messages. So whenever someone wants to tell me something, !I’m totally available¡. This way I can avoid distractions and people tends to be more accurate on they thoughts, and guess what, I’ve never missed any party or meeting.
Finally I don’t think that this app is useless just because I don’t need it, a lot of people (most I think) don’t work in front of a computer and they need a quick way to share pictures and business messages. I know a few cases where this app does make a difference, but they are just a few.
A quick final thought, I don’t agree with using WhatsApp as a project management tool, specially in Agile software practices.