DOHA: Increasing use of smartphones and social media in the prosperous Qatari community is to blame for a large number of serious marital disputes reaching the family courts for settlement.
In most cases, complainants demanding divorce are sore that their spouses are spending more time at home playing with modern gadgets, using social media and interacting with friends and colleagues, and not giving enough time to them. In other cases, spouses complain of mistrust and want the wedlock to end, Al Sharq reported yesterday, citing legal sources.
Facebook, Twitter, Instgram, YouTube, WhatsApp and, above all, the short messaging service (SMS) available on the phone are the main culprits of the rising number of marital discords. This is true particularly of young and newly-married working couples in the 30-35 age group. Arguments in court hearings of these cases show that the technological boom has a negative side to it as well since it is giving rise to social evil in the form of broken marriages. Spouses filing for divorce complain that as it is they and their spouses spend a lot of time at work and when they are home they feel neglected.
Many complain that their interaction with their spouses is more through SMSs and WhatsApp than in person. “Even while married we live isolated lives,” some litigating spouses said. Then, there are spouses who complain their partners spend more time after work in cafes socialising with friends than at home.
Meanwhile, a study suggests there were 70.3 million social media users in the Arab world until last June, and in the past year alone the number has multiplied by over 20 million, or 35 percent. By the first half (January to June) of 2012 there were only 52 million social media users in the Arab bloc. Of the 70.3 million social media-savvy Arab population, Facebook users numbered a massive 58 million, or 82.5 percent, followed by Twitter (6.5 million) and LikedIn users (5.8 million). The Peninsula
A vast majority of these users comprised men (65 percent), and interestingly, 48 percent of all users relied on English and only 45 percent used Arabic. According to Go.Gulf which conducted the study, Facebook had emerged highly popular in the Arab world only in the past three years due to its role in the Arab Spring revolutions.
Twitter’s low popularity was because it began using Arabic as a language only in March 2012, the study said.
Internet users in the Arab world accounted for 3.7 percent of the world total, and some 80 percent of them used social media on a daily basis.The Peninsula