I Hate Whatsapp
October 25, 2012 2 Comments
Whatsapp is becoming annoying. Almost too stalker-friendly. I don’t care if all my friends, business contacts are using Whatsapp. I have deleted the app and switching over to Viber. Even WeChat or QQ are more user-friendly.
What’s wrong with Whatsapp? First of all, it is not travel-friendly. Whenever I travel, I carry 2 phones. Whatsapp is tagged to a unique telephone number, therefore, my contacts have to know which account they need to send messages to. Skype or Facebook Messaging do not have this problem as it is cloud-based communicator.
Second, Whatsapp “time-stamp” your last online status. This is the most annoying privacy-intrusive function! I have no idea why the developer wants to include such a feature. But it is a disturbing tool for stalkers to track one’s availability. You can disable the “time-stamp” function but the app will still reveal your online and offline status. Without you knowing, anyone can check if you are active or not. This function is stupid and should be disable permanently.
Last night, a friend of mine was chasing me for some stuff. At 2am, he buzzed me and I didn’t want to answer his call. He left me a very disturbing message in my Whatsapp – “I know you are still awake…cos I can see you online”. WTF?!!!! That was the last straw for me. I deleted the account today. (Honestly, he is not the first one who abused Whatsapp!)
Lastly, Whatsapp scanned your contact list and displayed their names automatically. However, it doesn’t check the “locality” and the “accuracy” of these numbers. For example, John is my friend in Singapore and his number is 9876 5432. When I travel to Hong Kong, this same number 9876 5432 will be displayed as “John” in my Whatsapp contact list. However, it is not the same “John”. If you didn’t specify the country code in front of all your telephone numbers, Whatsapp will automatically link you up with the local number displaying the same name. Now, that is dangerous and it happened to me.
Last year, I was chatting with a complete Hong Kong stranger cos’ he appeared in my list as “Hock” (cos he shared the same number as the real “Hock” – I didn’t list the country code number in front of his number). Anyway, this idiot stranger whom we all mistaken as “Hock” chatted with the group for a long time. It was only after 9 months later when I chatted with the real “Hock”, he couldn’t recall any single dialogue he chatted with us. It was only after a quick call with the real Hock when I realised our group of friends have been chatting with the fake one. Of course, I blasted that jerk for his dishonestly. He thought it was pretty fun so he acted along. To avoid another mistake like this, I have to update the “country code” in all my Singapore and Hong Kong 8-digit contacts.
To me, Whatsapp started off as a convenient tool across different platform - IOS, Blackberry or Android but it is not the only app that offers that. What’s painful is its lack of privacy and inconvenience for traveler like me. As I started reading about its security issues of not encrypting our private messages, I believe I had enough.
So, I am deactivating my Whatsapp account today. I am not going to save money by losing my privacy. (It is not entirely free anyway as it uses data-plans). I am now on WeChat, Viber and Skype (which offers 256-bit AES encryption key). Anyway, most of my wiser friends in China don’t Whatsapp, they QQ/WeChat instead. Well, for those who want to know if I am sleeping, active or inactive, try calling me instead. Stop spying my status cos’ you can’t now.