Gone are the days when people would call off weddings due to a difference in opinion or dissatisfaction with the bridal party’s “service”. Modern times call for modern reasons. As per The Hindustan Times, a groom and his family from Uttar Pradesh called off a wedding, citing bride’s “Excessive WhatsApp Use” as a reason. She was apparently sending messages to her in-laws even before the wedding and this irked them. The bride’s father, on the other hand, has alleged that the real reason for the fallout is a last-minute dowry demand by the groom’s side.

Of all the frivolous reasons one has heard, this excessive use of WhatsApp sounds the most laughable and yet somehow one is convinced that the groom and his family could think of it as a valid reason.

No one wants a bride who will choose WhatsApp over unpaid household duties

What exactly could have worried the groom’s family so much about the bride’s excessive WhatsApp use, that they called off the wedding? To understand this, you have to understand how the system of arranged marriages work in our country and the position brides hold within it. The majority of families who opt for an arranged marriage in this day and age seek traditional bahus.

SAME TAKEAWAYS

  • A groom and his family in UP called off a wedding, claiming the bride used WhatsApp excessively.
  • She apparently was sending her in-laws messages before the wedding, which irked them.
  • Does our definition of excessive use of social media differ according to gender? Do people disapprove of women using WhatsApp only because it leads to a lack of concern for household duties?

A bride must be coy, docile, spineless and be able to adapt to the new family’s traditions and workings from the minute she enters her matrimonial household. Pretty looks, ability to cook like a goddess and additional skills like sewing, home keeping, etc. are all secondary. What most Indian families still seek the most is subservience and obedience.

So a bride who dares to text her in-laws before marriage is certainly not coy. In a small town or village, this temerity is akin to wearing a short skirt in public or (gasp) talking to men who are not family members. Heaven knows whom she keeps chatting with throughout the day!

Perhaps it is better if girls are not given smartphones at all. Or chained to the porch and herded from one house to another post marriage.

Moreover, how can such a woman cook tasty food and keep the home tidy if she spends all her time thumbing her keypad? We can’t expect in-laws to be content with just good morning forward messages, can we? How believable are these arguments? Very. Which tells what a joke the institution of marriage is in our country.

Brides are expected to ignore every bad habit a groom may have – a roving eye, alcoholism, smoking or fretting more over his performance in PUBG than as a husband.

Because he is only duty bound to bring in a fat pay-check and produce male progenies. If he is doing that, he can use WhatsApp or Twitter or Facebook as much as he wants to. Alas, such time-consuming recreational habits have no place in a woman’s life, for they have too many duties to fulfil, than waste away their time in chatting with friends.

Excessive use of social media is harmful to our well being. However, people need to ask themselves whether the definition of “excess” in case of WhatsApp use differs according to gender in our society? Do they oppose women’s use of social media because that takes them away from the unpaid duties? If so, then the problem isn’t with social media or women, it is in their mindset.

Picture Credit: fullonsms.com

Also Read : WhatsApp & Sixty Plus Generation: What Makes it the Go to App

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own

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