We usually need to make two BIG decisions in our lives that tend to have a very long-term impact on our lives:
- What we do with our lives – the choices we make for our career (our University choice and thereafter our career)
- Who we spend our life with – our soul mates and spouses
There appears to be a real pandemic and a near crisis situation for those looking for their other halves, and given how small the world has become, and how instantly technologically connected we are; the expectation would be the exact opposite.
The aim of this brief article is to explore one possible factor that I think may be a possible factor as to why we are in a crisis situation when looking for spouses.
Whilst the biggest struggle for folks looking for their spouses appears to be the WHERE question. Where can I find this other person? Where / who do I turn to when looking for the other half? What are the options available to meet in a ‘halal’ environment?
Very ironically – I think one cause that is delaying people getting married is actually Social Media and the Internet; and this is why:
- Once someone is introduced to someone or is given a potential name – what happens next? GOOGLE!
- Track their name on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked in etc etc and there starts the information gathering to ensure no stone is left unturned
- What pictures have they got up? What sort of poses are the pictures? What statuses do they post? What things do they like? What comments to they make on twitter? Who are they following? What is the ratio men v women on their platforms? What sort of comments do they post?
- Within a space of 3-5 minutes, with a click of a button – BOOM! A decision is made – YES, I want to get to know this person, NO, not the right person for me!
- More often than not the decision is NO – not the right person for me! Basis of decision: could be the result of just ONE picture, ONE comment, ONE status update, ONE instagram post etc…..!
Why are we so quick to judge?
When we are researching our spouses, the lens which we look through is a very unforgiving, critical lens, we look with the eye of a hawk looking for any flaw in the information that is available out there. We are instinctively seeking perfection; because of the gravity of the decision.
Social media information lacks context, because the information is read as posted, without any previous reference points, interaction, context etc which is significantly different to when we interact with the social media information of close friends – with close friends there is a context, there is a framework, there are very clear reference points and most importantly there is empathy. Empathy goes out of the window when searching for a spouse as perfection has no empathy.
What is the implication?
- We may be very quickly discarding a very suitable life partner – based on the speed at which we have made a decision/judgement.
- The internet is a very unforgiving place – once someone has made a decision, it is usually very tough to get them to backtrack
- People are being prevented from getting married because of the sheer amount of information available about us in the public domain
- You may stop getting recommendations from close friends, family and matchmakers as they would find it difficult to understand on what basis you are refusing to take a recommendation forward without having even met him/her
- Get into a negative spiral because the lens you are using to make a judgement may be unrealistic
A few tips and solutions…
Google your own name and sit down with someone who can give you objective advice on the information available about yourself in the public domain. Scrutinise this information.
Take a step back and see if you were reading that information as someone who has never met you with no context. How would that information/pictures be perceived? How comfortable would you be if your information was discussed on a live TV channel and you were sat in the audience and each and every post/picture/comment was discussed in detail? Would you cringe? Be comfortable?
Be aware that the same lens you use when assessing someone’s social media profile is the same lens being used on your information available. You are in control of the information that is available about yourself out there; you are not in control of people’s judgements. Therefore, do what you can that is within your control.