Published in El Pais, 19 January 2021.
I cannot stress how important WhatsApp is to me. Even though my phone plan provides me with unlimited text messaging, I have friends all over the world from Bolivia to Australia and texting them would be very expensive. WhatsApp has saved me so much money that when they initially said they were going to start charging for their services (a whole $1 a year) I was one of the few people who did not get mad. I was more than happy to give them an insignificant percentage of the money I saved through them. My love for the app has recently been shaken however as the latest news from Facebook (who owns WhatsApp) has been troubling to me and has even caused me to consider downloading a new application.
So, what am I going to do about this? The truth is nothing. The fact is that if I want to continue talking to my friends, I will continue to have to use WhatsApp until they themselves decide to make the switch. I could slowly phase it out but to be honest I do not like to juggle with multiple messaging apps.
Fortunately, Facebook has delayed their privacy update by 3 months, giving them the time to rethink their privacy settings even if it is just for business communication because the reality is that me and everyone else who uses their service are at their mercy.