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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 May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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