Should I stay or should I go? Managing Brazilian WhatsApp groups




whatsapp, individual behavior, social media, communication, group behavior


Instant messaging (IM) technology enables individuals to connect and maintain relationships with friends, family and colleagues, keeping participants updated on subjects of interest. It has rapidly become widespread in many countries and even been used for political activism. IM enables rapid, informal interaction between participants, but can generate message overload and notification fatigue, which leads to the adoption of different strategies to handle this problem. In this paper we report on an empirical study focused on the management of IM groups: reasons for joining or leaving, and the strategies adopted to manage the information flow. We distributed a survey that was answered by 442 WhatsApp users in Brazil. Answers help us understand the ways in which participants cope with message overload.

Author Biographies

Ana Cristina Bicharra Garcia, Universidade FEderal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Ana Cristina Bicharra Garcia is a full professor at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 2017. She was previously a full professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense where she founded and coordinated, for over 20 years, ADDLabs, a R&D lab in artificial intelligence.  Her main areas of research are knowledge acquisition, data mining and crowdsourcing. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University (1992), M.Sc. also at Stanford (1989) and engineer degree from UFRJ (1983). Cristina was a visiting professor/scholar at the engineering department of Stanford (2002) and at MIT/Sloan (2013). 

Adriana Vivacqua, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.




How to Cite

Garcia, A. C. B., & Vivacqua, A. (2021). Should I stay or should I go? Managing Brazilian WhatsApp groups. First Monday, 26(2).