We’ve all been there. You’re at work with a massive pile of admin to get through, and your manager is lurking somewhere in the vicinity.
But your phone is face-up on the desk next to you, and the screen is flashing like the sky on Bonfire Night. Your friend Lizzie went on a date last night, and now your WhatsApp group chat (aka ‘LADIES WHO LUNCH’) is blowing up.
“TELL US WHAT HAPPENED *heart eyes emoji* *heart eyes emoji* *heart eyes emoji*,” says Sarah.
“Did he look like his picture??????????” demands Phoebe.
Suddenly Lizzie appears.
“OK, so basically,” she begins – and these three simple words carry such promise of gossip that you can hardly focus on your spreadsheet.
In this kind of situation, there has historically only been one responsible option: putting that group chat on mute. But now, a new software update means that you won’t be able to ignore your friends on WhatsApp – even if you’ve tried to silence them.
The new feature allows WhatsApp users to tag people in group chats using the @ symbol before their name, in much the same way you’d tag someone on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. This will then send them a notification, even if they’ve muted the conversation.
WhatsApp has also expanded the group chat size from 100 to 256 participants, making the new @ feature essential if you want to make sure a particular person sees your message. (Although, if that’s the case, couldn’t you just drop them a text?)
So there are only two options, really: pick up your phone and give into the gossip, or leave the group chat entirely. Will you choose the path of righteousness, or the path of sin?