December 14, 2020

WhatsApp responses we wish we could send

Seven things you would like to say to your development sector colleagues, but can’t.

3 min read

Their WhatsApp: Hi, have sent you an email.

Your response: Thanks, will get back to you ASAP!

Your real response: Yes Vinay, I know, my anxiety makes me enable push notifications for emails too. You don’t have to text me to tell me you’ve emailed.


Their WhatsApp: Hi……

Your response: Hey, how are you?

Your real response: Please don’t text just to say ‘hi’ and leave it ominously at that.


Their WhatsApp at 8.50 PM: Hey, I’m a part of a Facebook group for development sector professionals. A researcher on the group, Hema, wanted to know if I could connect her with you.

Their WhatsApp at 8.52 PM: Would you prefer that I share your email or WhatsApp number with Hema?

Their WhatsApp at 9.00 PM: I’ve shared your WhatsApp number for now and asked her to move to email if you prefer.

Your response: Hey, it’s great to hear from you, would be happy to get connected with Hema. If you’ve already given her my number, I’ll keep an eye out for a message.

Your real response: Why, why, why did you ask me for my preferences if you were just going to share my WhatsApp details with her anyway?!


Their WhatsApp: Hi, thanks for sending across the documents, we’ll get back to you soon. Also, what a lovely display picture! Was this with your family at Diwali? Are those your children? They’re so cute! How old are they? I have a five-year-old and seven-year-old myself. Rascals, aren’t they?

Your response: Thanks, Leena. Yes, it was at Diwali and it was great to spend time with the family. My kids are four and five years old, and yes, they’re very mischievous!

*Changes display picture to generic scenery five minutes after the conversation ends*

Your real response: No, Leena. They’re not my kids. I just found them and decided to take pictures with them for Diwali. Could you please just send me the documents?

Angry Ranveer

Picture courtesy: HDWallSource


Their WhatsApp: Hello, my name is Amir. I found your name on a WhatsApp group for people passionate about social impact. I work at a nonprofit and we’re looking to raise CSR funding—I thought you might be able to help us identify who we could reach out to. Sharing a PDF with more information about our programmes and the impact we’ve had. Please circulate it among your networks!

Your response: Hi Amir, thanks for reaching out. The work you do sounds very interesting and will definitely keep an eye out for opportunities.

Your real response: I work freelance in digital marketing. I haven’t the foggiest idea about where to even start looking for CSR funding. 


Their WhatsApp at 1.00 AM: Hey Mansi, would you have some time to discuss the presentation I just sent you? It’s our pitch to that international donor I was telling you about. Our meeting with them is at 9.00 AM tomorrow. I know you’re not staffed on this, but just wanted an external perspective!

*You see the message in preview mode and ignore it till 8.55 AM the next day*

Your response: Hi, I’m SO sorry, I just saw this. Best of luck for the presentation though, hope it goes well 🙂

Your real response: No.


Their WhatsApp: Hi Anjali, I just received your email. Here are my thoughts on how we can move forward with the project:

*Long spiel on project details that should have been in an email*

Your response: Thanks for such a detailed response. Will discuss this with the team and get back to you.

Your real response: This could have, and should have, been an email. I had to scroll seven times to read through your entire message.  

We want IDR to be as much yours as it is ours. Tell us what you want to read.
Tanaya Jagtiani profile
Tanaya Jagtiani

Tanaya is an editorial associate at IDR, where she manages Failure Files, in addition to writing, editing, curating, and publishing content. She also supports the team on website management, recruitment and mentoring of interns, and external communications consultancy work. Prior to this, she interned at Coram Beanstalk, Samhita Social Ventures, and ActionAid India. Tanaya holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development from SOAS, University of London and a BA in Sociology from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Sneha Philip Profile
Sneha Philip

Sneha leads content development and curation at IDR. Prior to IDR, she worked at Dasra and EdelGive Foundation, across research and diligence verticals, on issues such as health, sanitation, gender, and strategic philanthropy. Sneha also worked at AIESEC—the world’s largest youth-run nonprofit organisation, and was a founding member of a language training company in Budapest, Hungary. She has an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and a BA in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.