Home » Ivory Coast: WhatsApp reinvents our families ~ dohouatt

Ivory Coast: WhatsApp reinvents our families ~ dohouatt

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Ivory Coast: WhatsApp reinvents our families ~ dohouatt

Social networks have profoundly changed the way we live, even transforming our family traditions. Among these developments, family relationships in Côte d’Ivoire have been transformed. Particularly with WhatsApp, which from a utility point of view now plays a central role. Who said that Africans were not lovers of progress?

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WhatsApp is a social network that allows you to correspond directly with people over a long distance. Indeed, this influence tool aims, in an Ivorian context, to streamline information between brothers and sisters of the same family. The messages are something like this: “Urgent, meeting at 8 p.m.”, “Annick is getting married, everyone in the group at 9 p.m.”.


Technology: how Whatsapp conquered Africa

WhatsApp s Ivoirise

WhatsApp currently holds second place globally with an impressive 2 billion user base. In 2021, this position remains unchanged, and in Côte d’Ivoire, the network has approximately 5.1 million users. In a global context where digital plays a predominant role, Africa is fully integrated into this digital era. In the past, family conflicts were resolved through in-person meetings. Today, WhatsApp positions itself as the link that brings together families scattered across the world. WhatsApp groups are emerging as privileged spaces for quickly resolving family problems. They provide a platform where everyone can express themselves, regardless of geographical distance.

In Ivory Coast, this practice has evolved to become the norm. WhatsApp groups are not limited to exchanges, they serve as places for collaboration, decision-making, or even collection of contributions. This “Metaverse” thus created transcends physical barriers, saves time and recreates a feeling of proximity despite the geographical distance.

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Photo by cottonbro studio for Pexels

WhatsApp: fertile ground for misunderstandings

Despite its benefits, WhatsApp groups can also be a source of frustration. Often, only the most influential members speak out, leaving little room for those seeking recognition. This dynamic can be perceived as oppressive, creating tensions within family groups. So, although WhatsApp contributes to strengthening social ties by bringing distant individuals closer together, it can also be a vector of misunderstandings and tensions. Communicating through a phone screen can sometimes lead to misinterpretations and disproportionate responses.

Half-hearted benefits

In conclusion, family WhatsApp groups in Africa are both a blessing and a challenge. They facilitate communication and strengthen family ties, but can also be a source of conflict and frustration. Finding a balance between these two aspects remains a major challenge in the digital age. WhatsApp, while it can help strengthen social connections, it can also be invasive and disruptive for some. Behind a phone screen, we may not fully understand certain sentences and respond to them disproportionately.


“Family groups on Whatsapp, this ultimate joy/this scourge”

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