It’s now more than a month since I switched to the Signal app full time. By full time, I mean deleting the WhatsApp and using Signal instead. Initially, it was dark dull (the UI) and lonely (No contacts), but slowly more of my close contacts with whom I used to chat regularly started to use Signal as well. Although they are still using WhatsApp much more frequently than signal, and I understand their position. In India, people are addicted to free and feature-rich services. The quotes like if it’s free, you are the product doesn’t work here. People feel valuable if you tell them that big corporations like Facebook and Google consider them as products.
As a society, we are very conservative. Conservative in the sense that we try to keep our emotions and feelings and point of view in check and under wraps most of the time thinking that it is the best way to avoid hurting anybody unknowingly. But when it comes to data privacy we don’t care. And the contradiction here is not because we trust these companies with our data but because it’s not happening in open we are not aware of the breach of privacy and trust happening in the background. Posting something sitting in front of a mobile screen or desktop gives us a false impression of privacy but in reality, those posts are being shared with everybody around us. Sometimes this false sense of privacy provides us with extra confidence, especially for people like me who are introverts and find it hard to express their opinion in public even if they want to. But most of the time it leads us to expose ourselves to the public much more than we would have expected.
Coming back to the topic. Now that I have been using Signal regularly and all my close contacts are interacting with me on the platform, I am not missing Whatsapp a bit. In fact, I am loving the peace I am getting here. No more forwarded messages from jobless relatives. No more fake group messages and requests. Even the desktop and mac clients of the Signal app is awesome. With the open-source code and active developers, I see it becoming as feature-rich as Whatsapp without compromising on data privacy, very soon.