At this point, most of us have been using Facebook long enough to know what kind of statuses, pictures, and comments to put up. We know that unless our privacy settings are more secure than Alcatraz, anyone can see what we are up to. Not only are friends, family, acquaintances and those nosy people from high school checking out our profiles, but also potential employers. Those are all things we have to worry about when making a Facebook account, but in India, there is an additional worry. That is, future in laws basing opinions on your suitability through your Facebook pictures, interests and the internet vernacular you use.
Although to most western readers this may seem absurd, but arranged marriages are quite common in countries like India and as society and technology advances, so does the way people find mates. Traditionally, when a young man or lady is of marriage age, their parents ask around for a good, suitable match from relatives and friends. Or they use marriage bureaus where they register their son or daughter with their basic information like height, age, education, occupation and then pay a fee in hopes of finding a suitable match. Now, all that same information that once had to be paid for, or tirelessly looked for can be easily spotted on Facebook.
This new and modern way of checking out Facebook marriage arranging parents have adopted, may not sit well with the new and tech savvy Indian generation. They now have to grapple with the urge to be modern, and westernized with the traditional projection of chasteness and religiosity. Something as simple as having a relationship status or writing “WTF” can turn off a marriage proposal. India’s Facebook population is increasing close to 46,307,580 people, most of which are under 25, who now have one more thing to worry about when it comes to marriage. Instead of being able to freely use Facebook, many carefully pick and choose the information they want parents that are seeking marriage to see.
Having a Facebook now means carefully selecting everything you put on, or reveal about yourself. Some general tips to remember; once something is posted online, it can be impossible to remove once it is cached on the web. Don’t post personal information that someone can take advantage of, and don’t try to do harm to others through Facebook. All of this can come back and haunt you, not just in India, but everywhere in the world. As much as many of us don’t want to admit it, Facebook is addicting, and it really can reveal a lot about yourself. Whether you are in India, or US, or England, or anywhere else, remember what you put online can be seen by everyone, not just your friends and family who know the real you.
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