An extremely annoying question that has (unfortunately) replaced “Hello” or “Hi” as the most popular form of casual greeting. For full effect, best delivered while walking past someone at about 90 m.p.h. so the person you’re talking to has no time to respond, and in a tone that suggests you really don’t give a shit about “what’s up” with them. Dude #1: “Hey, man. What’s up?” Dude #2: “Uh…” (what he managed to get out before Dude #1 was already too far away to hear the rest of what he was going to say) Source: The Urban Dictionary
The message is: many, if not most people who greet you with ‘what’s up?’ are not interested in hearing your answer. That is: its not really meant to find out how you are, but rather what infotainment is to be found in contacting you at that very moment. Boredom? Or just another ‘hyped’ word, used in urban areas. Not only there, I’d say, increasingly in rural pockets in developed and developing countries alike. A way of expressing a rather vague feeling representing a need to be entertained. Or just another way of saying ‘hello’. What could be wrong in that?
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. Those phones can all message each other, because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same Internet data plan that its owners use for email and web browsing. “There is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends”, so it says. And in addition to basic messaging, WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages. Adding to this Facebook chat’s slogan: ‘Facebook chat. Everywhere.’
Just another application, that makes that we can endlessly contact whosoever is in our address book to fight boredom? WhatsApp clearly embodies a desire to ‘be in contact whenever, wherever and with whosoever is acquainted to us. Is that so? Acquainted?
The ‘new thing’ of current mass-communication is that it is mass-communication in the first place and what goes with it is the relative anonymity: only a tiny percentage of most Facebook page-owners’ Friends’ Lists, are ‘real’ friends. Those we’d call friends 50 years ago. The friends you’d physically meet (‘off-line’ we would say now, probably), who you would be with for years on end and get to know better and better. Unlike (pun not intended!) our current Facebook ‘friends’: volatile, easy to ‘un-friend’, imaginary profiles (leading to a great deal of distrust) and content euphemistically called ‘conversations’ that amongst youth have a high degree of ‘What’s up’ ..
There are signs that ‘things are a changing’ (as Bob Dylan sung in the sixties of the last century!), in that ‘off-line’ friendships, relationships in general are re-valued. ‘Hyper-local’ is the buzz-word, and not only in ‘communities’ (who are still on-line entities), but also in living, ‘real-world’ relationships. Finally you want to see the bride or groom that has so far been hidden behind an advertisement, before you give the ‘yes-word’, don’t you?
My assumption: off-line will (again) become ‘the thing’, but amalgamated with a strong ‘on-line’ presence of a zillion ways from which everyone can choose to start or continue a real-life interaction. Business-wise ‘on-line’ is where the ‘killer-app’ is, but looking at personal relations: your first kiss - the best you ever had - will always be: 100% off-line.
So what’s up?