Recently we wrote about non-traditional dating apps that were used to find a date.
When Rachel Thompson from Mashable asked me to weigh in on the anxiety singles were having staring at their SO’s ‘last seen’ timestamp on WhatsApp, the popular messaging app purchased by Facebook for $19 million, I wasn’t surprised.
In her article, The One WhatsApp Feature Can Make or Break Relationships, Thompson took a deep dive into the activity and hearts of singles wondering if their boo was cheating on them, or to check on someone who might have ghosted them. Ouch, it’s a digital pain that stabs at our hearts.
Some singles were staying up until after 3am to see if the person they’ve been dating was awake texting someone. What they knew for sure, is they weren’t the recipient of sweet nothings late at night, or possibly at all that night.
Thompson even spoke to an attorney who was president of the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers who said, “WhatsApp messages sent by cheating spouses play an integral role in 40% of Italian divorce cases citing adultery.”
I told Mashable, “the incessant checking of the ‘last seen’ timestamp should sound alarm bells in your relationship, regardless of what you find.”
“If you don’t have trust in your relationship both online and offline, then then it’s not a healthy relationship and you should think about calling it quits instead of staring at his or her ‘last seen’ timestamp.”
Where staring at the timestamp becomes a problem, is when someone stalks an ex, is unsure of their relationship status, and these days, more frequently if they’ve suddenly been ghosted and don’t know why.
This feature, where you can check up on someone to know there digital whereabouts, helps people stay connected, but It can become very obsessive and isn’t limited to just WhatsApp. Some are checking the last online status on online dating sites such as OkCupid or to see if they have a green button on Facebook chat.
This need to cyber stalk gets worse when the person you’ve been checking up on decides change their privacy status to hide their last seen feature, or even takes it a step further and blocks you. Ouch, again.
Still, the need to peek can become addictive and it can negatively affect a relationship when one jumps to a digital conclusion about the relationship status solely bases on online activity. It appears WhatsApp is now responsible for many breakups.
Are you gazing a little too often at the timestamp feature on WhatsApp?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet and mobile dating apps. Julie has been coaching singles for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.