Is WhatsApp last seen functionality getting you into trouble?

By : |February 13, 2013 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: ”I last saw her at 5.00 in the evening, why hasn’t she replied to the WhatsApp message I sent to her in the afternoon?” is the question that’s currently bothering 21 year old engineering student Roshni (name changed). Roshni is one of the millions of WhatsApp users who are addicted to the free file sharing app.

However, she too like several other users gets thinking when her friends despite being online choose not to reply to her message. Thanks to the ‘last seen at’ functionality in WhatsApp, users can always keep a close eye on the activity of their friends on the app. There are several others as well, who believe that this functionality is a ‘mood killer’. ”The good/bad thing about whatsapp time stamps is that you know when someone is lying about not reading your message,” tweets a WhatsApp user.

”As much as i wanna know whether or not have you read my text, “last seen” on whatsapp can be such a mood killer when you ignore me,” tweets another user. Several users also seem to believe that WhatsApp last seen can harm relationships. ”If Whatsapp decided to introduce “Last seen talking to” most relationships would end within an hour,” tweeted several users. ”Many relationships have ended because of that whatsapp last seen thingy,” tweets another.

Although, some are thankful to WhatsApp for this functionality helps them keep track of their friends’ whereabouts. ”Thank god whatsapp tell u when u were last seen! Clearly ur up,” tweets one such user. ”I hate that last seen on whatsapp its like the biggest pro and con of it all,” says another user.

On a more serious note, a user who wished to remain unnamed shared her unpleasant experience on the WhatsApp last seen functionality. Anita (name changed) had deleted a contact from her smartphone as she wished not to keep in touch with him anymore. But he could still keep a track on her activity on WhatsApp as she was on his contact list. She then had to block him to stop receiving messages from him.

Recently, Canadian and Dutch data protection authorities said that WhatsApp breaches international privacy laws because it forces users to provide access to their entire address book. WhatsApp also has been reported to have had several security loopholes earlier. On January 6, 2012, an unknown hacker published a website(WhatsAppStatus.net) which made it possible to change the status of an arbitrary WhatsApp user, as long as the phone number was known.

That said, one cannot deny that the app is very useful and user friendly as well. However, what has been your experience with the WhatsApp last seen functionality? Do you feel that the functionality should be disabled from the app? Do let us know.

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