Seminars/Talks/Lectures

– INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON MARITAL RELATIONSHIP

By The Revd Oluwole Ibikunle

INTRODUCTION
According to Genesis 201:20-25 in the Holy Bible, God ordained marriage. And one of the vital purposes of marriage is relationship. Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden and God saw that his loneliness was not good and God created a help meet for him to keep him company. Adam identified Eve as the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. What does Adam mean with this statement? (Gen 29:14; Judg 9:2; Eph 5:28). Love relationship exists between husband and wife because woman was taken out of man (Gen 2:22; 1 Cor 6:16)

Why did God not use the bone of the leg or other parts but the rib? Rib bones are parts of the respiratory system of the body. They house the lungs and the heart partially. Breathing makes man a living soul. Rib bones are fragile and delicate. So God is the Initiator of relationship especially intimacy and love between a man and a woman.

However, marital relationship must be taken serious and must be enhanced by the man and woman. -But we live in the world of alarming increase rate of information technology that has engulfed every facet of mankind. It is generally believed now that the information technology rules the world. Our aim is to study how this great gift of Information Technology has affected the marital relationship ordained by God.

WHAT IS INFORMATION TECHOLOGY?
Information technology (IT) is the application of computers to store, study, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. It is the use of any computer, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data. IT includes several layers of physical equipment (hardware) and software. It refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.

The term information technology was coined by the Harvard Business Review, in order to make a distinction between purpose-built machines designed to perform a limited scope of functions and general-purpose computing machines that could be programmed for various tasks. As the IT industry evolved from the mid-20th century, it encompassed transistors and integrated circuits -- computing capability advanced while device cost and energy consumption fell lower, a cycle that continues today when new technologies emerge.

Information Technology is a gift from God Almighty. It is God s idea. According to one of our Church fathers, Most Revd Prof. Dada Akinde (Retired Archbishop of Lagos and Bishop of Lagos Mainland) the first Professor of Computer Engineering in Nigeria, Computer System is the greatest gift of God to man apart form the Lord Jesus Christ. Bill Gates, the President and founder of Microsoft Inc also acknowledges that software development is a rare gift from God. One could ask if God is behind Information Technology.

GOD s PROVIDENCE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
In the Holy Bible, God Almighty is the brain behind Information Technology. How?
1. Creation of the firmament – Genesis 1:6-8. The firmament or sky holds the satellites in the orbit of the earth to aid information technology. All of centripetal, centrifugal and gravitational forces were put in place by God Almighty but left for man to explore and use to make life comfortable on earth.
2. Creation of Moon, the Natural Satellite – Genesis 1:14-17. Man sought invention of the moon through the idea of the moon in the solar system; satellites were created and launched into the space or firmament.

If God Almighty created marriage relationship and information technology, His intention and purpose must be an advancement of a better life on earth (Rev 4:11; Col 2:9-10).

VARIOUS ICT MACHINES USED IN THE FAMILY
All digital electronic machines are ICT machines and these include:
1. Micro Computers – Desktop Computers, Laptops, Palm top etc
2. Mobile Phone – Androids, Blackberry, Windows, iphones etc
3. Satellite TV – DSTV, MyTV, Startime, GO TV, Internet Radio, ROKU etc

All these are internationally connected together for the purpose of sharing information across the globe via orbital and terrestrial satellites. This is called Internet. These ICT machines are driven by various software such as:
1. Operating System – Windows, Android, iOS, Blackberry,
2. Application Software – Vary based on the field of operations
• Word processing – MS Word, Word Perfect,
• Desktop Publishing – CorelDraw, Publisher, PageMaker,
• Internet – browser, Cloud Services etc
• Spreadsheet – MS Excel, SPSS etc
• Mobile – mobileApp of various types.

3. Drivers Applications – These are software used to drive various appliances we use at home such as Decoders of Satellite TV, TV Set, DVD Players, play stations for games and so on. This is what makes them digital. We are now in a digitalised world.

The world is a global village. You can stay on your bed and share resources with anybody around the world in micro seconds of time. You can bring the whole world into your room. Most of these machines are becoming micro in size. In 1999 when there was advent of GSM in Nigeria, most of the GMS handsets and telephone boxes are heavy. They make undue noise when calls are made. These affect humanity one way or the other. However, we shall emphasise more on Family Relationship.

POSITIVES INFLUENCES OF ICT ON FAMILY RELATIONSHIP
Here are some of the advantages of ICT on family relationship:
1. Aids Communication – Family members can communicate with one other when they are apart with the use of mobile phones (i.e. voice and video calls), social media, Skype on PC, emails etc.
2. Easy Access to the Word of God – Family members can read the word of God online, through social media. For example families in non-Christian countries can access online and through mobile App the Word of God.
3. Aids watching Christians Stations – Satellite TV have Christian stations. Spiritual programmes are now broadcast for the family entertainment to replace the junks of TV programmes.
4. Aids Educational Research – The use of search engines such as Google, Kiddle (for children), yahoo search etc helps the family in all researches.
5. Information Dissemination – The use of social media such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, help to pass pertinent information.
6. Sharing of Emotions – A lot of people express their feelings on the social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp etc, thereby unburdening themselves.
7. It enhances personal studying of the Word of God. Young ones who are ashamed to be seen carrying the bible around use their Ipads and phones to study the word of God.
8. Provision of Online Entrepreneurs e.g. Jumia.com, jiji.com, iroko.tv etc.
9. Uploading of CVs into social media such as LinkedIn has provided work and change of jobs for many families.
10. Online adverts leading to business expansion.
11. ICT aids financial transactions such as use of ATM, Online transfer of funds amongst family members, salary alerts and other bank alerts.
12. ICT broadens the knowledge of our children and youth.
13. Online libraries reducing the cost of buying books.
14. Family members who travel and are far away from their place of worship can watch their service through online streaming. 15. The use of YouTube has helped the church to store video of Christian messages thereby making it available for families to watch at heir leisure.
16. Christian leaders and businessmen are able to manage their organisations through online application software.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ICT ON FAMILY RELATIONSHIP
1. ICT can foster disunity amongst family members through wrong information put on social media.
2. Kidnapping, theft, waste of life and property. ICT can inadvertently lead to these when one s life become an open book. Some people assess the social media to engage in nefarious activities. So be cautious and don’t ‘reveal all’.
3. A family can grow apart if everyone is addicted to their phone and are constantly online.
4. Affect quiet time and zeal for God. A lot of people spend more time on social media and very little reading the word of God and prayers.
5. Cyber crime. Another adverse effect is that it can expose the youth to cyber crime such as internet fraud (‘yahoo–yahoo’), hacking of secured sites and bank accounts.
6. Cyber bullying – blacklisting and online slandering.
7. Exposure to pornography.
8. Promotion of idolatry and magic through cartoons
9. Sext: Sending nude pictures or video through chat on phones and PC.
10. Online Motivational talks and self willpower that diminishes God s power in making man a success. (Deut.8:18)
11. ICT equipment such as ipads, ipods and Smartphone has replaced the Holy Bible and Liturgy.
12. The use of phones and other mobile gadgets has reduced family intimacy.
13. ICT evil – Emission of enchantment from mobile phone or PC

CORRECT USAGE OF ICT ESPECIALLY SOCIAL MEDIA
1. You must have a goal. Why do I want to use it?
2. Sense of judgement. This is the ability to have a right sense of judgement. You must have a focus and face it. You do not have to see everything as there are lots of junks. We must teach our children to have the right sense of judgement on what they watch on Satellite TV and phone.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE MAIN GOAL OF A CHRISTIAN USING THE ICT?
Since God is the brain behind ICT, it should be used to His glory in propagating the gospel. Christians should be able to fill the whole media with things that edify, that will draw people to God. We should talk less about ourselves and promote Jesus and the Anglican Communion. Do not spread hate and violence rather, spread peace and love.

CONCLUSION
God created marriage relationship and ICT through the knowledge He gave to man. We should endeavour to use it to promote our family relationship on a daily basis. We must not allow satan to hijack the gift of ICT to man against our family. Thank you and God bless.

 

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