Members use the WhatsApp group for general discussion about the ITAA fellowship, to ask if anybody is free to talk at the moment, to bookend before and after technology use, to remind people that a meeting is about to start, or to share some of the literature drafts we have been working on. WhatsApp can also be used as a free alternative to international calls since we have members across the world.
Not all our members choose to join the WhatsApp group. However, it can be a convenient way to reach out to many people at once, or to wake up in the morning and find someone in a different time zone has been posting helpful messages while you were asleep.
If you have never used WhatsApp, it is a free messaging app that works on Android and iOS smart phones. You can type messages, communicate by voice, or send files to groups of people or individuals. If your smartphone is connected to the same network as your computer, you can also use your computer to read and type messages, which many people find easier.
To join the WhatsApp group, please attend one of the telephone/online meetings, and then after the meeting, ask if someone can add you to the group. You will have to give out your mobile phone number and if you send messages to the group, your phone number will be visible.
Some of our members find WhatsApp use triggering, so we are also experimenting with using GroupMe to remind people of meetings or ask for support. Fewer people are on the GroupMe discussion group, and there are fewer messages sent. GroupMe supports cell phones that aren’t smartphones, as well as Windows PCs. From a phone, you can choose to receive text messages from a US-based number (with potential international charges if you aren’t in the US), use a smartphone app, or use a Windows 10 PC. Since GroupMe is owned by Microsoft, it doesn’t support MacOS computers. You can also join the GroupMe discussion by attending the phone meetings