Role of Social Media in Matrimonial Homes in Northern Nigeria: Best Practices, Challenges and Prospect – By Rabiu Musa

INFOMEDIA – Social institutions in northern Nigeria like any other in the world has been witnessing a caprice of changes which others considered as a mishap in their lives believed to be occasioned by technological advancement that led to the creation of social media. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, TikTok, etc have inevitably come to dominate the cultural values and set standard of matrimonial homes in northern Nigeria. This is because it’s hardly to find an individual who is not using one or more social networking sites on the internet and this does not exclude married couples and this alarmed society and raises significant concern about it’s effect on matrimonial homes.

Social media is believed to be a fabric in our today’s lives that permeated every aspect of human endeavors including matrimonial homes. Availability and influx of smartphones, internet connectivity have changed the way life is lived in northern Nigeria.

Social media has been playing the role of a wayward trend that brought up a lot of issues in matrimonial homes in Northern Nigeria owing to the fact that it made access to personal information of individuals easier and also made it easier for one to be caught trying to cheat or cheated his/her partner in marriage using the same means of communication. High-profile individuals in politics and business were caught cheating on their spouses in marriage in northern Nigeria and it got leaked through social media.

In some situations, it can be seen as awareness channels that illuminated the darkness of primitive practice of the traditional way of living and surface modernity through regular updates of new trends and serve as an avenue of getting first-hand information as it unfolds based on proximity of the couples and beyond.
However, in some instances Social media appeared to be a threat to matrimonial homes as it wrecked and ruined several marriages with multiple undesirable values adopted by wives from the social media because almost everything is shared on social media and interaction with some parties in the case of social networking sites has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the higher the social presence, the larger the social influence the communication partners will inflict on one another and by an exhibition, newly adopted values from social media contrary to the husband and wife (s) expectation, their response to the development may create adverse effect to their marriage.

Social media integration and enhance matrimonial relationships when better utilized as it has proven to re-engineered society for good particularly in matrimonial homes when involving in a number of educational discussions through forums and social chatting rooms.

Best Practices

Prudence and share password: By being prudent in using social media by married couples implies that mutual agreement and should be guided in accordance with the accepted etiquette, values, norms as well as the personal world view of the parties involved as this will quel unnecessary risk of disagreeing with one another as to which social media and other sites to use, when and how. The couples should also endeavor to share passwords with one another to ensure accountability. The account information should reflect the person as a married individual particularly that of the woman to satisfy the curiosity of the male folk.

Setting acceptable features: Married couples should understand the delicate nature of their interaction in digital spaces and design a boundary of expectation from one another in terms of profiling their identity on social media. They should both agree on the information and features to set on their profile including phone contact, address, and notification.

Time management: Married couples are expected to set a time in which they access their social media accounts to protect themselves from addiction and or leaving matrimonial chores for chatting and other unnecessary surfing through the sites.

Post with discretion: Couples should understand that our online presence and post are a typical reflection of our offline reality. This is to say that couples are strongly advised to post with a higher sense of discretion and distance self from immoral post or act that will jeopardize their matrimonial home and peaceful co-existence.

Lead with good examples: Couples should understand that leading by a good example in terms of social relations on social media command respect not only in their matrimonial homes but in society at large. Whatever couples exhibit on social media will surely boomerang.

Challenges:

Fantasy: Temptation to live in a world of fantasy is quite dangerous to married couples. Once spouses got connected to the world of social media, there is every tendency to develop some sense of virtual identity different from his or their current reality which will completely alter their psychological zone without realizing it

Vulnerability of bully by Ponzi artists, unsolicited ads, and different forms of other cybercrimes is part of the challenges imminent to couples on social media if careful monitoring is not put in place.

Potential loss of privacy:
Featuring personal information which includes address and phone contact may expose married couples to trouble.

Addiction: Addiction is part of the threat of using social media not only to married couples but to the entire social media users.

Prospects

Connectivity: Social media proved useful for married couples while away from one another at work or when the other partner is traveling.

Community engagement:
Social media present a great deal of opportunity for couples to engage in discussion and forums that involved their immediate Community. Connecting with friends, schoolmates, and fellowship.
Business: Married couples can use social media particularly women to start a business at home with or little amount of money.

Enhancing relationships and accountability to one another is also part of the potential benefit of using social media by couples.

Rabiu Musa is a Digital Media Strategist, writes from Kano, and be reached via [email protected]

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