Heartiest congratulations to Mr X for starting the group. I hope it serves its purpose. Another message reads: “Thanks for making me a part of this prestigious group.” A flood of messages greeted my friend, who had started not a company, as the messages might suggest, but an ordinary WhatsApp group.
You need not a penny for this start up and all age groups do it. It was to my great surprise when an acquaintance who is 70 added me to his WhatsApp group. He takes pride in announcing that all his group friends are between 20 and 30. A WhatsApp group is not a company but some group administrators do feel like the “boss”. They add and remove members like companies hire and fire.
One of my journalist friends created a media group named like a newspaper and announced it as though he had launched a real newspaper. The “newspaper” gave work to hundreds of journalists, of filing stories everyday from any part of the world. A member who posted “stale and out-of-context” stories was “fired” on the urgent demand of others in the group. A member trying to promote a particular party was also shown the door.
It isn’t that being an administrator is easy. At times he has to face tricky situations that require him to act wisely and urgently. There are members who post offending messages and those who threaten to exit the group on petty issues. There are those he has to pamper and those in whose tussles he has to mediate. In all these situations, the administrator’s challenge is to keep the flock together by tact. For this, he issues warnings to members and reminds them about the terms of joining.
When my admin himself changed the group icon to an obscene picture, it shocked the members so much that they threatened a mutiny. The administrator must be active every time, or members post messages to raise him from the slumber. When there is not much activity in the group, it’s time for his revenge.
It is his job to introduce new members. Sharing a joy, grief, or good or bad news relating to members is also his duty. A few days ago, two journalists fought at a public place and the administrator had to post a formal statement to condemn them, like the high-command of a political party. He even suggested a patch-up. Can I become admin, if I am active? False, admins are the chosen ones. Here’s another joke on admins. Interviewer: Do you have any experience in a leadership role? Candidate: Me? Well, I am the administrator of a WhatsApp group.
The writer is a journalist based in SAS Nagar