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In all truth, I have never been much good at all this communications malarkey, what with one thing and another I find it all somewhat tiresome in the extreme. For instance, once you join a walking group, or play tennis with a bunch of mates it is considered ‘bad form’ not to let yourself become part of the inevitable WhatsApp group that springs forth and pings all day long on your phone.

While I’m at it, do people actually use phones to talk to one another anymore? I only say this because apart from the occasional phone call from an Indian chap trying to flog me everything from dodgy stocks and shares to “Bitcoin opportunities” nobody ever seems to phone me anymore.

Now then, part of this might be because I only have my Spanish mobile and calling me could be a tad expensive, but I have to say that my mobile rarely rings like a proper phone. Indeed, I have taken to giving people our landline number and then I wait for the inevitable question regarding why I would still use a landline as if I were daft or deluded.

Anyway, back to the social complexities of WhatsApp groups and their ‘groupies’. I am presently in four WhatsApp groups and at one time I thought I might go mad at the constant pinging that would occur on a regular basis as if to drive me bonkers. Happily and rather surprisingly for me, I have discovered (by accident) how to mute the constant pinging.

Then we have that facility which allows you to talk to a fellow WhatsApper unimpeded and without interruption and then drone on-and-on for ages talking about nothing in particular - good eh?

However, why is it that we all seem pre-programmed to rush to our phones the moment we hear a ping as if one of the grandkids is ill and not merely the fact that Ray & Nancy in the walking group are likely to be 3 minutes late at the groups starting point of Friday morning. Then there is the whole business of how to end a WhatsApp conversation. Women I notice can take up to five goes at saying adieu - as they go into a constant “By For Now” or BFN mode.

If this is not bad enough, what about the etiquette of actually leaving a group? Whether you intend to leave a group because your kid has left that school, or you are just bored to distraction by the pointlessness of it all - things can and often do - turn nasty. In fact I understand the boffins at WhatsApp have invented a procedure that actually hides the fact that you’ve left a particular group at all, so as to spare you the embarrassment of - “Frank Leavers has left the group, because quite frankly, he thinks you’re all tedious beyond belief.”

Finally, just recently I was severely b******** because I used a WhatsApp groups site to arrange with a mate the time and place we were to meet for a beer - I was advised that I was abusing the groups raison-detre and was to cease doing it immediately. Oh dear!