Who do you really love?

Who do you really love? A question that poets and authors have struggled with and written in great degree over Centuries. But that was before WhatsApp (WA). Completely encrypted messages sent over the security of a phone that might be equally secure with all kinds of protection. In many countries such as Brazil and India, WA has taken the people by storm. I myself am a member of several WA groups that deal with all kinds of content and contexts. But WA is essentially a personal messaging system - one on one - and that is where it gets interesting. There used to be a time when people would wake up and get to their computer to check their email. Now, it is in bed, multiple phones, and the gentle twinkle, sometimes personalized to the special person, that wakes one up, or a message a simple: "Morning" or "Hi" sent early in the morning that begins the day. Now, wonder who gets that first message? That first message of the day, the anticipation of the response, the disappointment of the wait, and the elation of the reply. This is a choice we make, at any moment, there may be hundreds that can receive that first message of the morning, or the last message of the night. If there was a way to see within oneself and see who gets the first message one might actually be able to find out who matters to you, and conversely who does not matter. How you respond to the twinkle chime or choose not to, could show the priorities of one's life, and the WA embrace in the morning that decides whether the emoticon will be a heart or a thumbs up. There is the new language of love and friendship. Some wait for the "Hi" while others find themselves in the joyous position of knowing that he/she is the first priority in another person's life and will always get a response, will always be greeted with the heart. It is not only the priority of which person is the first recipient of the anticipated message but also the length of the message, the minutes spent on the message, the time spent in the back and forth of the message. As a person who studies communication it would be fascinating to see how a relationship develops and is sustained and how it might dwindle. In the World we live in now, WA has superseded almost all other forms of messaging, and is the currency of relationships - from a teenager's romance to terrorists exchanging information. It is in this new universe that we use WA to create and sustain relationships where the first message of the day, like the first dew on a cool morning, might be a window into your heart. So, ask yourselves, my dears, who do you love? Who gets the first heart in the morning, and who do you sign off your day with? Perhaps, even unknowingly, we are setting our emotional priorities through WA, and how you feel when that first message does not come, or the response takes that additional 30 seconds beyond the instant acknowledgment of your affection. Whose message do you wait for? Whose message you respond to instantly? And who do you keep waiting? These did not matter before messaging came along, but it really gets fine-tuned with WA because it is all around you. It is in the very element of your lived experience and the frantic attempt to return over and over again to the application and see if that special person is "online" or the double ticks have become blue. Some people even announce the last time when they were online thus signaling the time they have been waiting for that special emoji. It is a new way to state the famous song from the movie, The Godfather, "Speak softly, love so no one hears us but the sky" just change the sky to WA and there you have it.


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