Social media sites are more addictive than drugs, alcohol, and even smoking. They grip an individual’s life. Wives complain of husbands spending too much time on the computer, and even work can be affected by improper use. Husbands, in turn, often complain that women in their families are too visible on the sites.
In the first case of its kind, an Adeni woman accused her husband of negligence due to his abnormal use of WhatsApp, and the judge decreed that the husband should allocate his time more fairly. For Ahmed, a similar example arose with his wife.
“Although I prevented my wife from using Facebook because it is a waste of time, I was troubled at how much time she would waste with reading WhatsApp messages.”
“Sometimes, women behave in ways that damages the family. My wife eventually had no sense of her responsibilities, and her families’ needs, which ended with divorce.”
This is not inevitable. Samah says that she only uses WhatsApp at the right times.
“I only use it when I have free time, and I don’t neglect my duties, so my husband has no reason to oppose it.”
According to Samah, some men react strongly because they suspect infidelity.
“I think husbands who suspect that their wives are having extramarital intercourse are the ones who object to social networking sites.”
Abeer Ali says that although men are naturally protective, they must allow their wives to act of their own accord, and that many still look down on women with a mentality that should change. Roa’a Ahmed says that she would delete WhatsApp if she suspected that it interfered with her duties in the home, but trusts herself to know when that is happening.
Psychologist Dr. Ebtisam Zaid warns that there are negative effects to these sites.
“When someone sits in front of the Internet for many hours, they are deprived from family time, which leads to emotional separation.”
Dr. Zaid said that users need to remember that there are limits to online communication.
“I am not completely against the idea of social networking, because it really does help people communicate and increase their knowledge, but there needs to be development through physical contact, especially in the family that gets neglected.”