A Saudi marriage contract was recently in the press for a clause that bans Snapchat and Instagram, as reported by the Saudi Gazette.
While it is certainly the case that social media use contributes to or is cited as a cause in many divorces, does it seem realistic to start banning individual apps? Is there a clause in this marriage contract on hubby’s use of Tinder? Why not just ban iPhones, or heck the entire internet?
Politely, the idea of contracting problems out of a marriage by controlling what apps are in use misses the point. Virtually everyone having an affair in the last 100 years has used the telephone to communicate with their paramour, but banning the phone as a way of protecting marriage is absurd.
A better idea: Let’s have a rational discussion about social media in marriage, or even in relationships.
Maybe one of you thinks the world needs to know what you ate for lunch, and the other prefers privacy? What are you going to do about activities in which you are both involved? Social media (and many other activities) will inevitably lead to communication with persons of the opposite sex. Sometimes persons are going to show ‘an interest’ in you or your spouse. How do you expect these things to be handled within a marriage? What do you do if someone mistakes an outgoing social media presence as an invitation for an inappropriately intimate relationship?
Better yet, how much blogging, tweeting, posting and sharing is a spouse supposed to be doing during time with their spouse?
These questions are way more complicated than which social media apps are “OK” to use, and are not likely to be reduced to terms in a contract.
Some understanding about expectations and boundaries is way more likely, however, to protect a relationship than any heavy-handed app ban.