WeChat has already taken over our lives. No one can deny it, it’s unstoppable. The question is, how can we make full use of it without falling into its addictive trap? What’s the best way to get local information from your community, your company, your clubs and your family? Welcome to the ever-expanding world of WeChat groups.
By now, everyone is involved with certain groups; they are so pervasive, a day doesn’t go by without an invite to one group or another. If you think about it, digital communication provides the perfect environment to make yourself completely comfortable.
“Sometimes the groups can give us a better sense of community. We are also able to help each other if people need help in any way,” said Tim Jennings.
Go ahead and take your time to reply and comment, or watch the whole performance as a silent observer. The entire affair perfectly fills the gaps between daily tasks. People check their updates on the bus, in meetings, at lunch, after coming home and most definitely on the toilet.
For many expats, it’s more than just a way to pass the time.
“I get quick information all in one place—easy and fast—because we are connected all the time, no need to call anyone anymore to know the news,” said Liz Lima.
Getting information and knowing what’s happening in the city are crucial for expats because of the language barrier, which explains why some foreign-Chinese mixed groups are always so popular. Foreigners get first-hand news through local English-speakers and discuss it right away in the group. That’s how it’s been happening in the DG Bar Street Online.
Go ahead and take your time to reply and comment, or watch the whole performance as a silent observer. The entire affair perfectly fills the gaps between daily tasks.
According to Laurence Wang, founder of DG Bar Street Online, the group was originally called DG Bar Street English Corner Online, and offered an online English practicing platform with regular offline gatherings in bars to talk to foreigners face to face. After a few offline activities, people seemed to prefer WeChat conversation over the actual meetings. The group lost one of its original functions, but found an extremely prominent place in the community.
“There were several times when I wanted to give up the group since it’s a time-consuming project,” said Laurence, “but every time I saw quite a few group members keep seriously practicing their English, I was so moved. So, I pulled more native English speakers into the group for them to learn standard English.”
Another great benefit about these groups is that it gathers like-minded people under the same roof to talk about or arrange offline activities for common interests. Movie-watching, scuba diving, running, basketball, essential oil discussions, photography, comedy, badminton and so much more. Anything you can conceive, probably exists. The sky’s the limit.
The positive side occasionally dwindles, though, when a group loses its focus and becomes an advertising zombie group. Then, people get tired of them. A well-organized group will have its own purpose and rules, all working to maintain the overall productive experience. “I think certain people in groups go a little too far, often airing their personal problems, grievances, bad attitudes and carrying on with bad behavior,” said Jess Wright.
The entire affair perfectly fills the gaps between daily tasks. People check their updates on the bus, in meetings, at lunch, after coming home and most definitely on the toilet.
When Glen Embry set up his badminton group, it only had four people. It quickly grew to 118, with merely one-third of them coming out every Sunday to play. “We had some people just joining for sending stickers and unrelated videos,” said Glen. “I ended up creating a second group for chatting among the members because I wanted to keep the main group just for scheduling events.”
From four to 118 to English-speakers or assorted hordes of all kinds of hobbyists, the power of WeChat groups and the virtual community is in full swing and it’s only getting bigger.
“It’s just interesting that a sport can bring a diverse group of people together,” commented Glen. “And how without WeChat, it wouldn’t have happened at all.”
Glen’s story reminds us of the number one rule in any WeChat group: always follow the rules and stay focused on the goal of the group. When you want to send random stickers and emoji, keep them to the chat groups and leave the special interest groups focused on their projects. Even still, when crisis strikes, you’ll know there are plenty of people to give you a hand.
Remember, as useful as they are, WeChat groups can’t eliminate loneliness. Put down a phone once in a while, read a book or two, maybe watch a documentary and go out and talk with some hotties at the bar and cheers with your friends. Later, when you go home, get back on your phone and tell your favorite WeChat group all about it.
Most Popular Groups Around Dongguan
Job offers and position hunting are probably the second most popular WeChat groups. Some focus on teaching jobs while others extend to more diverse options.
Roster ‘n’ Phillipe’s Comedy
A pretty well-organized and entertaining group focused on anything funny will keep you entertained with daily themes, including movie clips, random anecdotes and best O’Brit(ain).
Waiting inside are already 58 mommies who regularly organize play dates for their children under 5 years old. While the kids are engrossed with their friends and toys, the ladies sit together, exchanging gossip alongside tea and snacks.
Buy & Sell
There are at least 3 Buy & Sell groups specializing in different items, such as children’s second-hand goods and factory goods. Expats always come and go for the fast and efficient way to recycle used items.
Divers coming from different backgrounds share beautiful pictures from different sites around the world and exchange information.
DG Bar Street Online
A great mix of foreigners and local English-speaking/learning Chinese talk about everything happening around Dongguan. Getting the most updated info about the local community, the region, funny videos, trendy news and more is why you come here.
DG Pet Lovers
Funny & cute videos, knowledge sharing, stray animal rescue, pet adoption and anything else related to pets.
A group for English writers to share writing tips and techniques, make improvements and get opinions.
Do any of these groups look interesting?
Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you!