I really like Whatsapp group chats. While most groups are quite boring, the few good ones make up for the failings of the many crappy ones.
A good group has 2 things – anonymity and diversity.
Anonymity makes honesty easier. It also emboldens people, making them more aggressive and more willing to fight. And conflict is interesting.
Diversity provides a multitude of opinions, teaching people things they did not know before. Showing them perspectives radically different from what they are used to.
Last year, I decided to create a whatsapp group that would have one person from every country in the world. I labeled it League of Nations. Alas, the plan failed. I think it failed for 2 reasons:
1. The process of building up the population of the group was that each new person would add another from a different country. I wanted a chain of acquaintances. Unfortunately, some of the people did not know anyone outside their country of residence. So, we had different chains forming. At a point, only a few people were making the effort to add up new ones. And even they soon ran out of international acquaintances. Thus the population stagnated, defeating the original aim of the group.
2. Conversations were boring. Very few people were talking. And those conversations were usually only with people they already knew. Also, the first person I added after creating the group is a very nice person. So she probably added another nice person who added another, etc. nice people are usually boring.
I accepted my failure when people began to leave the group. Shortly afterwards, I left too.
Anyway, I intend to try again, hopefully, with more success.