‘No, I do not do WhatsApp.’ That’s pretty much all I ever seem to say to people nowadays. They ask me if I do WhatsApp, I say I don’t do WhatsApp and they never bother with me again.
I deduce from this that not only can we not now meet in person (so 80s), we cannot talk on the mobile phone either (so 90s), and nor can we email each other (so noughties). We have to do WhatsApp.
I don’t know what WhatsApp is and I cannot bring myself to find out. In answer to the next person who asks, I say: WtfApp! WhocaresApp?! GetalifeApp!!
I was full up with pointless technology when I got as far as using an iPhone. So befuddled am I by dictating incoherent text messages into its voice recognition function, I cannot possibly start logging onto instant messaging sites or downloading apps that will get me into trouble — because I always get into trouble when I try to do digital jiggery-pokery.
The social networking is bad enough. They should never let people like me on Facebook. There ought to be a screening process at the log-in stage, like parental control, to stop emotionally unstable women in their mid-forties from posting ‘status updates’.
I’ve managed to get myself estranged from one family member and two dear former friends by shooting my mouth off on Facebook. And each time, all I did was say what I thought instead of posting some dreary garbage about how great I thought they were, or how wonderful their picture of their dinner was.
Note: if a Facebook friend posts that they are clinically depressed and then remarks that they are off out to get drunk, again, you are supposed to say: ‘Oh no, you poor thing! I know the heartache. There are angels in heaven looking down on you. Remember you’re amazing! Huge hugs! Xxxxxx’ — plus a smiley. You are not supposed to post: ‘Don’t get drunk you idiot, alcohol’s a depressant.’ Because then your so-called FB friend will unfriend you, and report you to the administrator for trolling.
Obviously, I don’t dare go on Twitter. I posted a photo of my new car on there once and even that prompted a deluge a complaints.
I have to face facts. I don’t give good digital. Imagine the carnage if I started downloading apps?
People should be grateful I’m not on WhatsApp, given my propensity for disaster. And yet they seem baffled by my lack of apptitude — you see what I did there? The other day a friend asked, ‘So, if you don’t do apps, how on earth do you order a taxi?’
I’ll tell you how. I go out into the street and raise my arm. This is known as GoingoutsideApp. Otherwise, I pick up Alexander Graham Bell’s exceedingly good telephonic device (yes, I have a land-line) and place a call to the earthly headquarters of Balham’s finest minicab emporium, a procedure known as HelloMelissamylovelyyouwannacarmy-love?App.
No. I cannot and must not do new technology. I recently joined Airbnb, the site where you rent a room to a tourist, and got myself digitally lynched by a man who wanted me to give him seven nights for the price of five and then told me a few hours before he arrived that ‘by the way’ he would be bringing his five-year-old child.
I told him to get lost, because that is what you would do normally. I made the mistake of thinking you can socially network someone as you would talk to them. Online, however, you are meant to couch every utterance in hand-wringing political correctness.
‘How dare you speak to me like that!’ he declared in a message to my Airbnb inbox, before reporting me to the administrators, who gave me the most polite, Americanised telling off I have ever had.
‘Your guest recently reached out to us and communicated that he had to cancel his reservation as the listing no longer met his needs,’ said the sunny email of admonishment from the customer experience team. ‘As you know, Airbnb is a platform that connects two humans as members of a community. I am hoping that this will be a learning experience for both parties involved.’ Yes. Lesson learned. Don’t go on Airbnb.
Then there was the slow car crash that unfolded when I joined match.com. Oh dear. I think I had better save that for another day.
But suffice to say, all the men I reached out to and communicated with replied by asking me to join them on WhatsApp.
‘I don’t do WhatsApp!’ I said to one.
A few hours later another one said: ‘You don’t do WhatsApp?’
‘Are you people all sitting in a room together plotting to make me miserable?’ He didn’t reply. I suppose I sounded paranoid.
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