We all get to that point in life where we need help from people we know.
But over the past few years, we have been burdened by WhatsApp groups meant to fundraise for things that absolutely don't deserve any kind of crowdfunding.
I mean, why on earth would someone add you to a housewarming WhatsApp group? Why would someone want us to help him pay dowry? Why would I help you pay for your child's Israel Trip when I have not finished paying school fees for myself? Why?
THE MOST ANNOYING THING
The most annoying thing is that the administrators of these groups do not seek consent and then go ahead to make demands for members.
They set the amount of money that each member is supposed to contribute; even calculating the target amount against the number of members added to the group!
Recently, I was castigated for leaving three WhatsApp groups - One was for a funds drive for a wedding. Two people I have never interacted with or heard about in my life and when I inquired from the person who added me, he told me, 'Si utawajua tu'. Really? Come on!
The other WhatsApp group was for a housewarming. The owner of the house has just completed a four-bedroomed house in Syokimau and she had listed the things she wants us to buy.
The other WhatsApp group, I was added by someone I met once in my search for news. His wife’s grandfather had died.
MAKING THINGS CLEAR
I want to make this clear; I am neither against WhatsApp groups or fundraising. Only that there are deserving cases like fundraising for school fees, hospital bills, some few deserving burials, orphans and vulnerable children. You get the drift. .
Still, it is respectful to call me and ask me, if I know the person in need and we are in good terms. Ask also if I’m in a position to help at that particular time because to be honest, I get broke sometimes.
Lastly, ask if I can contribute to that particular course without necessarily being added to a WhatsApp group.
I find it rude to add someone to a random group without asking. I have been so quick to leave these groups immediately without hesitation.
In the event that I remain in these groups, I prefer that I am left to decide the amount that I should contribute.
In the house warming group that I was recently added, the ‘Admin’ allocated every member a household item to buy. All I remember is that I was commanded to buy a dinner set and an extension cable.
The last person to leave before me wrote:
"I find it unrealistic that you are asking me to buy you a water dispenser for you, yet you have not spoken to me for the last five years. I also don't understand how I, who has never even afforded to buy land for myself will help you equip your four-bedroomed house.
Come on! You have achieved. Kindly tuache tusaidie wagonjwa, mayatima na watoto wa shule."
People who are close to me know that I do not fundraise for weddings and baby showers unless you are one of the very few BFFs I have. Still, they have to ask me first.
It is easy for me to send money to a sick person I have never met and whose case I find on Facebook, than to send even 100 shillings towards a wedding, because; why on earth would you plan for a Sh2 million wedding when you can afford a Sh200,000 wedding that can still be classy?
The other annoying thing is the 'Why did you left?' message that you receive when you decide to exit.
I always say, a WhatsApp group is not a Maximum Security Prison that you would need the prowess of the likes of El Chapo Guzman to escape from.
Don't tell me it is rude to leave a WhatsApp group. It was rude to add me in the first place without my consent.
Technology came to ease our lives. Not to burden us.
Chero's Take is a weekly opinion column by Stella Cherono, who tackles social issues boldly. To comment on this article, Email [email protected]