Wechat Moments (1)

I’m calling this Wechat Moments (1) as I imagine this will be the first of many miscommunications, misunderstandings or strange things that happen on Wechat. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Wechat. It’s an incredibly popular social media app and is huge in China where Facebook is banned. It has an interface like Whatsapp for chatting and voice messages. You can also send animated stickers, photos, music etc. Then there’s your ‘Moments’, which acts like your Facebook wall where you can upload photos and/or statuses, as well as sharing articles by companies that publish regularly. There’s a part where you can Shake your phone and chat to anyone else in the world who happens to be shaking at that moment, use GPS to chat to People Nearby and you can play games too.

Because it’s so popular and used by pretty much everyone in China, people will ask you for your Wechat ID to continue your friendship. People that ask for your Wechat can vary from your actual friends and classmates, other students walking around campus, your teachers, to strangers on the bus who want to be friends with a foreigner.

The fashionable thing is to have your profile picture of 1) someone other than you 2) a flower or 3) a cartoon caricature. It’s also cool to have your screen name as something other than your name so when people add you, sometimes it takes a while to figure out who it is that you’re talking to.

I got a friend request from LU yesterday, the picture was of a small Chinese child and I didn’t know who this person was. Here is our conversation:

Me: Hello

LU: Hello

LU: How was your weekend?

Me: Fine, yours

I wasn’t going to give this Lu character any actual information until I knew who they actually were. I’ve had some strange spam messages come through before and I didn’t know if this was spam.

LU: Not bad, also hehe

LU: Did you go and play with your friends?

Me: Yes, you?

Again, one word answers seemed the best way to go with this.

LU: I was working

LU: I didn’t go out

Me: Oh, it’s like that (said in Chinese internet slang)

By this time, I looked on LU’s Wechat moments and realised that he’s my Chinese teacher, here at university. So this time it’s not a stranger trying to sell me gynaecological treatments.

LU: Haha, you really can speak Chinese

LU: Great!

LU: Where do you live?

This is where it started to get a bit strange, I didn’t want to tell him my whole address so simply replied

Me: In the international student dorms

I wasn’t going to ask where he lived.

LU: Ok, not bad

LU: Can I see one of your pictures?

Because I want to fit in to Chinese society, my profile picture isn’t me, it’s this cute picture of a panda in a panda cap.

My profile pic
My profile pic

Me: So you want me to send you a photo of me?

LU: Yes, send me one so I can see you

LU: Your level of Chinese really isn’t bad at all

LU: You could directly study a Masters in Chinese

Me: *sends picture*

Me: I haven’t thought of studying a Masters

LU: Oh, not bad

LU: Are you married?

It’s definitely weird now, he’s asked where I live, if I’m married and I’ve just sent him a photo. What if he tries to marry me off to someone?

Me: No, why do you ask?

LU: Just thought I’d ask, hehe

Me: In our culture, we don’t usually directly ask these sorts of questions…

LU: Oh, sorry

LU: Chinese people usually ask these questions, I’m really sorry

Me: It’s ok, don’t worry

The conversation then continued by him asking me to help teach his 3 year old son English, as he’s in nursery and they don’t have English classes. I said I was interested but still don’t know my timetable and if I’ll do other activities in the afternoon as I don’t want to commit to teaching my teacher’s son from the beginning and then encounter difficulties or more awkward moments. He said we’ll discuss it another day.


3 thoughts on “Wechat Moments (1)

  1. Ugh, I hate this kind of things. There is this guy I meet on the train to Shanghai every Monday and last week he asked for my wechat. I think it is more awkward to say no so I gave it to him. Then he sometimes sends me smileys and asks some boring questions… meh. Then the last thing was asking me if I could help him with his English. Sorry, but I have better things to do on my free time than having nonsense chats with you in English..

    1. My friend talked about setting up a fake wechat account to give to people who you don’t particularly want to talk to, or have annoying you. It would have your name on it, but you’d never log in and thus avoid those same questions – 你吃了吗?

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