Officials of Ludhiana police have stirred up an online debate with their statement regarding social media leading to stormy relationships. According to the police, there’s a stark rise in complaints received by them, where couples often come up with Facebook and WhatsApp details of each other in order to prove that there’s trouble in their paradise.
Interestingly, social media driven cases are not limited to India, according to a report published in The Wall Street Journal, as per American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers there’s a rise in the number of divorce cases because of social networking sites.
Apparently, your next update on Facebook can end your relationship in a second, well that’s what Ashutosh Singh of Cybercrew, a Delhi based cyber detective agency claims. “I meet at least one such individual everyday, who has a doubt on his/her partner thanks to their Facebook updates. And that’s not all, we are often directed to cyber stalk these individuals to check whether the assumptions of our client are right. In most cases, the accusations levied stand true,” explains Singh.
According to divorce and family attorney, Prachi Singh, the fact that Facebook has minute by minute updates of everything we do, is landing these couples in soup. “Most of the divorce cases these days have Facebook and WhatsApp as the main trigger. What’s more, since these chats and screenshots can be submitted in the court f law, as secondary evidence by including them in the annexure, people should be really cautious of their social media activities.”
If you thought Facebook stalking was limited to people who are married, here’s news – “Married people in India have always been predictable in tracking the whereabouts of their partners, but it’s the unmarried individuals who are mostly unsure of their partners these days,” quips Ashutosh. The 40-year-old cyber detective has handled more such cases in past 5 years than he’s ever handled in his 10-year-old career.
“At times, I forget to check my Facebook account, thanks to the clients I deal with, says Singh, who’s currently pursuing a case of a client whose girlfriend is meeting her ex after connecting with him on Facebook recently.
Facebook might have acquired WhatsApp, but thankfully it will never be able to beat its subsidiary in muddling new age relationships. Soumya R (name changed upon request) lost her boyfriend to her college bestie and got to know about it when her boyfriend sent her a message instead of texting her bestie – well, that’s not a classic case of ‘wrong window’ (the act of sending a message accidentally to the wrong person in chat) but a rather crude example of how futile relationships have become. According to Soumya, she’s glad the bubble of her ‘perfect relationship’ burst right on her face. “I can’t thank WhatsApp enough! Think about it, if there was no technology, we would be still living in a false hope, continuing in relationships that are not even worth our time.”
We like it or we don’t, we can’t deny the fact that relationships have generally fallen prey to many modern world factors like high stress, long work hours, mobile dependency and social media narcissism (a condition where an individual spends a large part of his day is self promotion). According to Sunaina Gandhi, a US based clinical psychologist and Special Educator, FB and WhatsApp have started acting as social podiums for individuals, where they can easily show their emotions through pictures and posts. Their dp (display picture), status messages and posts say a lot about their life and emotional state.
Gandhi claims that failure of so many relationships is to be blamed on the drastic decline in patience amongst people. “They want to gratify their needs as soon as possible. This has led people to become more self-centred and insecure. And, no prizes for guessing that people are no longer patient enough to work towards their relationships and have in fact started comparing their lives with others. Due to heightened level of insecurity, individuals are indulging in social media stalking by taking tours of others’ profiles. Some people are stalking their spouses to keep track or seek attention, some are stalking their colleagues to keep an eye on their progress. Social media has become the ‘compact peephole’ for people, concludes Gandhi.
Well, with the Facebook updates of couples reaching the courtroom, guess it’s time for Indians to actually try some social detox.