WhatsApp has been the recorder of many of my life-altering moments over the past few years, from gut-wrenching, heart-aching moments of grief to delicious moments of pure joy. Moments you want to bottle up and keep forever—and that, thanks to WhatsApp, you now can.
I found out my gorgeous, gregarious Grandpa was no longer with us via a WhatsApp call while I ate a custard tart at the Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon. I remember, because I’d sent a picture to my Family group a few seconds before; it’s a photo I revisit often.
A few months later, a video call from my sister delivered the ultimate news: I was going to be an auntie. Same medium, totally different reaction. What followed were eight months of near-constant chat—name ideas, plus pictures of scans, baby clothes, and expanding baby bumps—right up until that first photo of my beautiful niece came through.
WhatsApp is great for connecting us in those truly iconic moments, but it’s the daily interactions that are often the most meaningful: a “good luck” message before a big presentation, the voice-note pep talk from a friend after a tough week, or, best of all, hearing about the latest adventures from friends and family dotted around the world.
Media has the power to connect us with the new and the unknown, but it also has the magical power of enhancing and renewing the existing relationships we have with the world around us. Looking at your media section on WhatsApp is a bit like owning a personalized Grayson Perry tapestry: It’s a perfect summary of modern society, with a bit of the weird and wonderful thrown in for good measure. For me, that’s the most meaningful media of all!