A letter to members of my group in Whatsapp in September 2017
Excerpts from my post:
Started on 31.12.2015 by me, this group initially was formed as a joint forum to send new year greetings to more than 150 of friends and contacts. This was done by me without any knowledge of about how groups in Whatsapp function.
I am a Facebook user for over 8 years stared with 20 members known to me and I had built over the years a friends strength of over 200 in my Facebook page.
I used Facebook account first to make friends with known associates, then to create and post my creative work which grew to new personal pages in my Facebook account.
I am basically a shy socializer (except in close social, career, relations, friendship circles), my socialization never included the present-day socializing patterns of ‘wine, w… etc.” and mostly it consisted of known persons.
An earlier personal experience of writing for journals and magazines gave strength to my social activity, after I retired from service, first through Facebook pages and a number of blogs which I created and populated with extracts of various documents in Tamil and my creative work of writing in Tamil and English.
This group as I told above consisted of large number of friends and associates with a diverse range of interests, skills, qualities and prejudices.
The number of members was consciously reduced to a reasonably small homogenous group in 3 ways:
(1) Some members opted out on their own, as they felt only some of the members in the group are known or they had no time or inclination to continue as a member of any group;
(2) Some members who very rarely participated in the group were removed by me;
(3) A mishap happened due to a virus (in my android phone) some 18 months or so back, when many members including me were found suddenly out of the group; ( I joined again with the help of another friend whom I had earlier made an administrator)
(4) Some 4 members got removed by inadvertence 2 days back when I left my phone with another curious creative person.
I have again added those 4 members who were inadvertently removed. I have also added back some friends who were earlier members of this group. I have also added some friends new to this group.
I welcome all the new members of this group.
I have added new members without previously asking any one before adding them. *Hence It is their right and privilege to decide to continue in the group now or anytime later.* No offence will be taken by their quiting the group as they may decide.
There is no set agenda for this group. Anything can be posted on any subject as long as they are useful, non-partisan, non-anti-religion (anti-any-religion), non-atheistic, amusing, informative, spiritual, non-political-propaganda, non-controversial, non-anti-government.
Even information good or bad about politicians or public persons can be posted provided it is not controversial or subject of public anger/agitation which may draw the attention of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.
Specific posts talking ill of government ministers, public officials, political leaders are better avoided. *The role of an administrator in social media is viewed sternly by judiciary and government enforcement authorities especially in groups which carry controversial posts which aim to modify public opinion in moments of social turmoil and political upheavels.*
Hence I had to write these paragraphs in a welcome message to new members.
A common thread uniting all the members of this group is the fortunate association I had with each of them in my personal / family / friendship / career / public life with them.
Some are my relatives.
Some belong to Christianity.
No difference as to caste, colour, official position, professional status will be celebrated in this group or mentioned.
It is basically a small, very small group, of presently 29 members, who are known to me as good-natured, open-minded, responsible citizens.
I am without any basic motive to increase the number of members, as I want to maintain its exclusivity.
I wish to convey to the new members that generally the postings made by all the members are of good quality, chosen among the best and found to be informative and useful.
I request each member to contribute to the unity of the group by reading the posts by all members as they find time, and immediately post a small response (either for or against) so that the usefulness of the posts may be strengthened over time.
Generally we find in many social media groups that people who frequently post are usually silent without any response to posts by others, and in this respect this group is not a glorious exception.
This has to be gradually changed to a situation where this smallest group is active with all members active with posts and comments.
It has to be remembered that while selecting/writing/posting will take time, comments will take a very little time to a few seconds.
Hence commenting is not be seen as a herculean task. Comments boost the confidence of members to post which is essential for any sincere social friendly group. Comments ensure the longevity of a group in social media.
Though everyone is known to me, I appreciate the fact that a small knowledge at least about all the members will help the group to develop unity/fraternity and retain it for a long time.
With these few words (do not curse me, I know it is not few words), I hope to next make a separate post giving a brief profile about all the members.
I am cautiously doing this still keeping sacred the level of personal security usually available in social media.
Thanks for everyone who have read upto this and regards to everyone.
September 17, 2017