Don’t get sucked into WhatsApp

In a society suffering from social media-fatigue, one that is always ‘on’, WhatsApp is perhaps the most notorious time goblin.

Much like its parent app, Facebook, WhatsApp seems to have taken over our personal lives. But it won’t stop there – it’s coming for our professional lives too.

WhatsApp is widely successful with around two billion users (as of 2021). This popularity is often a contributing factor for people feeling under pressure to download the app (damn you FOMO).

In the words of our founder, “If I had a penny for every time someone asked me to join WhatsApp, I’d be exceedingly rich”. Yet, at Famous Publicity we are strictly WhatsApp-free. Our founder refuses to even connect with her family on the app.

Here’s why…

WhatsApp forces you to always be ‘on’

Although the professional landscape is changing from a typical nine-to-five in the office to more dynamic hours working from home, maintaining a routine is the key to success. The problem, for those who choose to connect with co-workers on WhatsApp, is that the line between work and play becomes blurred, and work-related conversations can often slip into ‘me time’ after you’ve clocked off.

Visualise this: It’s 8:00PM. You’re relaxing in a bubble bath, a glass of wine in-hand. Your phone is, of course, beside you (because, let’s face it, our minds have been programmed to never leave our mobile phones out of arm’s reach). But still, it’s peaceful bliss…

Until you hear the dreaded ‘ping’ of a WhatsApp notification. You check it (because you can’t help yourself). It’s your client… and now, they’ve seen that you’re ‘online’, so you can’t ignore it. Alas, your relaxing bubble bath is no longer relaxing because you’ve been trapped into a conversation that should have been had within business hours.

Mixing business with pleasure and wasting time

It’s just entirely unproductive. A two-minute work conversation turns into 30 minutes because you’re sending laughing emojis in response to an off-topic comment about a co-worker – which, by the way, can be used against you later on because WhatsApp message cannot be unsent.

Group chats are an even bigger minefield, with unprofessional usernames and floods of messages making it difficult to keep the conversation on-task.

Mixing work and play is a risky business. WhatsApp’s ‘stories’ feature allows all of your contacts, or anyone with your mobile number, to see what you’ve been up to. Whether that’s posting embarrassing videos and pictures of yourself after one too many drinks, or private pictures of your family on holiday. 

Even if you keep it strictly professional, when it comes to finding important information which has been shared with you via WhatsApp you will lose precious time endlessly scrolling through your chat history because there is no search capability.

Giving away trade secrets

Aside from being a notorious time-goblin, WhatsApp is one of the least secure platforms you can use.

Do you ever get the feeling that Facebook knows more than it should about you? Perhaps, like me, you have watched a film and minutes later received a sponsored post from Facebook about the very thing you’ve just been watching!


Or, maybe, you’ve been having a conversation about a product on WhatsApp and later that evening you receive a Facebook sponsored ad for the very same item. 

WhatsApp is owned by Meta, the parent company for Facebook and Instagram, and with very poor data protection in place, your information is just not secure – in fact, WhatsApp is using your data to turn a profit.

People often fall into the trap of downloading the app because it’s ‘free’, but it is important to remember this – ‘if it’s free, you’re the product’. I highly recommend you watch The Social Dilemma, which explains this concept in much more detail.

The app has also regularly been hacked and is a popular platform for scammers.

Its terms of use even specify that it should not be used for business purposes:

“You will not use (or assist others in using) our Services in ways that:
(f) involve any non-personal use of our Services unless otherwise authorized by us.”

The long and short of it is, we recommend that you don’t use WhatsApp… for business OR pleasure. Important messages should be conveyed via a phone call, text, or email.

Specialist PR agency

We serve clients who want support from public relations professionals who can assist them with their communication programmes.  Our work includes PR strategy, media liaison, writing, marketing, brochure and web design.

Our clients want support from people who will be proactive in their approach and who have their clients’ interests at the heart of what they do.

Based in Surrey, we serve clients from around globe looking for a positive impact to their communication activity.