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Is Whatsapp’s “Blue Tick” Function A Good Thing?

Is Whatsapp’s “Blue Tick” Function A Good Thing?

In 2014, I studied abroad in Brazil, where I learned, among many other things, that outside of the US, Whatsapp dominates the virtual-messaging world.

When I first started using the app, it worked like this: when you send a message, one small check mark appeared in the bottom corner, meaning the message had been sent successfully. Eventually, one check would turn to two, meaning that the message had been successfully received. However, there was no way to know if someone had seen your message, unless you saw them “online” when you sent the message.

Then, one day, I logged into Facebook and saw the status of one of my friends “Well Whatsapp, it was fun while it lasted, but if you need me, I’ll be using SMS from now on.”

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I didn’t understand what he was talking about until I opened the app and sent him a message. I watched him appear online, and then, the two checks in the corners of my successfully delivered message turned blue.

Oh shit, I mouthed. Whastapp had implemented read receipts.

How Does It Work?

The sequence of check marks can be easily explained by the photo below.

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Checkmarks

    What’s more, if you slide your finger from right to left over a sent message, you can see the time of delivery, as well as the time that the message was read.

    Pros and Cons

    For weeks after the blue check function was implemented, people joked that their relationships would soon fall apart, and altogether became much more preoccupied with who was reading their messages and when. Blue, check-marked messages with no response became motives for squabbles: why didn’t you respond when you read it? You’re not prioritizing me? What were you doing?

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    On the other hand, though, the blue check function worked to bring piece of mind.

    I used to spend hours wondering if my double-checked message had actually been read, or if my message notification was sitting somewhere on an unseen screen in a duffle bag in a gym locker room. At least with the blue check functions, I knew with certainty when the message I had sent was seen by the recipient. Additionally, blue-checked messages that lingered for days without a response became a clear signal: this person doesn’t want to talk to you. No more making excuses about a lost phone.

    Another con of the blue check function is the stress caused for those who truly are busy, but want to open a message to read it without worrying about hurting the sender’s feelings. The anxiety of opening a message without having time to respond, knowing that the sender may later follow up to inquire as to why you haven’t messaged back yet, can really weigh on people. The alternative, leaving the message unread, can cause stress for the receiver as they ponder what information the message holds.

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    Can I Turn It Off?

    While many users have finally adjusted to the Whatsapp read receipts, there are many who still wish to de-activate the function. For Android users, this process is as simple as accessing Whatsapp’s Settings menu. Navigate to Privacy Settings and un-check the box titled Read Receipts. Voice messages will still display blue when played, and group messages will still be displayed as read.

    disable-read-receipts-blue-check-marks-whatsapp.w654

      For iPhone users, this process is more complicated. The process includes jail-breaking your device, followed by downloading an app that will turn off the read receipts. More detailed explanations of this process and the read receipt disabling app instructions can be found here.

      In Conclusion

      It’s been almost a year since Whatsapp rolled out this feature, and contrary to how I felt the day I first watched two check marks turn blue, the world has not yet ended. After the initial stress of constantly checking back on messages to see if they had been read, and fishing for explanations when responses took a long time, this function eventually allowed me more peace of mind and clarity in relationships.

      For many, however, read receipts continue to cause stress. My advice? Date someone with an Android.

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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