Privacy or filial piety?
Would you add your in-laws as your WeChat friends if they asked? I recently saw a post on Sina Weibo saying that a man felt troubled because he had dated a woman for a year and planned to get married. However, when his mother asked to add her WeChat, the girl blocked her from her Moments immediately after reluctantly adding her.
Although most Weibo users supported the young woman’s decision on the principle of privacy, it is difficult for people to say no to seniors in real life, especially in such a situation.
I remember a foreign female friend once told me that she felt troubled because her mother-in-law would often come to their house to tidy up her apartment.
“I think that is something very private,” she said.
It is common for elderly Chinese to take care of their adult children even after they get married. One of the reasons could be that today’s young Chinese are under a lot of pressure, and their parents hope to assist in some way by helping to clean their houses so that they can relax a little after work. They are often unable to help their children in their career, so helping out at home might be the best option for them.
Also, the concept of family is highly valued in China, which means that once people get married, they become a member of their partner’s family as well. So, caring about one’s son- or daughter-in-law’s life is a sign that the family has fully accepted you. It says, “I care about you the way I care about my own child.”
Respect for the elderly is also highly valued in China, so when the choice between protecting one’s privacy or being disobedient to an elder comes up, one’s privacy should give way to obedience. At least, it should appear that way.
I don’t think what the girl mentioned in the post did was wise because she was too overt in showing her unwillingness, especially when a compromise could have solved the problem. I have my in-laws and even a cousin-in-law as my WeChat contacts. But I put them in specific groups where they are unlikely to view posts that I would rather they not see.
This is how I strike a balance between my privacy and filial piety. I do not think there is anything wrong with my compromise. It’s just like a white lie.