Whatsapp status updates as a minor tool for emotional and thought process assessment: a prospective study in 11 West Africa countries
Emmanuel Lamptey, Ephraim Kumi Senkyire, Uhegbu Uchenna Nwanyibihe
Mental health is an integral part of Health and well-being. With the advent of smartphones, the internet and the growing importance of WhatsApp as an effective and cheap online means of daily communication, certain attributes of Users such as posts, activities, quotes, images and writings can be valuable to assess emotions and thoughts among others. Mood/affect regulation thought process, impulse control, insight, judgement may be an apparent behaviour on users that can be observed using social network like the WhatsApp Status Update. This digital evidence could be useful in the assessment of such attributes. This study empirically investigates whether the android WhatsApp messenger and it's status updates could assess and predict the emotional and thought process of users in some West Africa countries. A structured online survey was employed to collect data from a sample of 1500 users across West Africa. The survey was shared and distributed online on various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to people, contacts, friends, associates and social groups within the West African Region. Data collected was cleaned and descriptive statistics were used to analyze them. The results show that posts on WhatsApp status are true reflections of what users are thinking. Users take time to put posts, observe them and make meanings to the post of their contacts. Therefore, WhatsApp Status Updates can be used to assess the emotional and thoughts process of users unless certain information posted are deliberately held confidential by users.