Social Media, Relationships and Families in Contemporary Times

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Article by Amobi P. Chiamogu

Advancements in information communication and technologies (ICTs) have generated unprecedented use of mini and micro ICT devices including androids, windows and IOS. It is indeed a jet age with digitalization crossing varied boundaries in lives and relationships. Everything has gone digital especially in this age of Covid-19 wherein the subsisting barriers have given in to computerization, unrestricted networking and online life patterns for the majority.

With such online messenger platforms as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media handles, the world has truly become a global village. Shrinking to nothingness. All barriers from distance have been defeated with peoples’ privacy getting greatly invaded and eroded. Many couples today live and dine online with their chat mates without regards to their physical partners who also resort to networking for joy and happiness in the spirit of when the desirable is not available. Many homes and relationships have collapsed and marriage relationships broken in utter attention to social media. Do we even realize and notice this damage?

The new dimension is the toll on today’s children. Have you noticed that no child throws a digital device away? It rarely fall off their hands. In fact, some of us attended computer training classes but children of today are born with sticky fingers on the keyboards. They live, work and leisure on ICTs devices such that many have been given away to social media without realizing it. Our children may have been sacrificed on the alter of this situation that many of them do no longer learn from us but online teachers who might be teaching nonsense including nudities, pornographies and fraud tactics not devoid of other forms of criminalities.

Initially, Covid-19 was repairing and fixing broken homes and forcing couples to attend to their roles at homes but the attendant rush to meet school academic calendars has overtaken mothers and wives. The volume of chats and posts transmitted on social networking sites from March 2020 till date might be greater than what was circulated from 2015 to 2019. Virtually all basic and post basic schools have gone into distance/online learning programmes without adequate equipment and education. Everybody (both male and female partners in marriages) is married to WhatsApp, the easiest and most available platform. Our children have gone back to learning from both teachers and parents without properly negotiating who is going to pay who for the services being rendered.

Well, suffice this to state that parents have inadvertently resumed their responsibilities once again owing to the overbearing impacts of Covid-19. Those who see their children only at night are now compelled to not only stay with them in the daytime but teach the voice messages from their teachers as well as assist in doing class works/assignments. Interestingly, this Corona virus has some advantages! Those men who live on beer at public places are forced to play and perhaps fight with their wives and children at home today. Yes, some marriages and homes might fail permanently but many would survive the strain and repair their relationships automatically.