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Marriage &Technology

Making it in Marriage - by Kelvin Mapp Sunday, August 6 2017

“Do not turn off the lights, darling.

I am still on WhatsApp, the oven has not timed-out and I have to set the slow-cooker for the night.” Is the above a growing trend for our marriages in today’s digital world?

This in turn invites the wider question – what are the positive and negative realities for marriages living in the information age; one driven by an ever-increasing quantum and application of technology? One valuable benefit is the increased access to marriage enriching information, experiences, techniques and tips. This includes online streaming from websites and webinars, interactive social media and greater knowledge of, and admission to, relevant books, videos, seminars, marriage coaching and counselling. In short, marriages today have more gateways to effective resources from multi-sources on multi-devices – tablets, laptops, smartphones.

Another worthwhile gain is the ever-deepening assimilation of technologically-driven equipment into the marital home, which if used properly, boosts house-keeping efficiencies and reduces time spent on repeated maintenance tasks. Therefore, we celebrate the expanding proficiencies of the washing machine and dryer; self-monitoring refrigerator; self-timing stove, microwave and dishwasher; the self-recording HD television; the multifaceted vacuum cleaner and other in-house technologies which we sometimes take for granted.

We also welcome the advancements in digitallydriven, home security- moving from alarms and motion-detectors to real-time viewing of household rooms, facilities and assets. Outside the house, the ever-technological-advancing automobile takes pride of place (whether sedan, SUV, hybrid, four wheeler or sport edition) for work, business and relaxation as a couple. This can be followed by advances in entertainment, games and sports; aimed at greater direct participation of consumers – multiplex and 3D theater experiences, interactive internet and digitallysoaked amusement parks. In third place, we arguably have innovations in food technology-inclusive of production, manufacturing, marketing, appliances, preparation and consumption.

Given the “encircling digital elements”, marriages have to intentionally guard themselves from the intrusion of technology “into their bedrooms”. Husband and wife glued to their own devices silently sitting or lying next to each other. Here the marriage, like other human relationships, becomes vulnerable to the everwidening side-effect of technology creating more and more virtual worlds of singular existence - diminishing or replacing in-person communications and personto- person quality time. This real-life danger is greatly multiplied when the multi-billion dollar industries of virtual gaming, gambling and pornography are added to the mix.

On the brighter economic front, technology offers marriages the escalating opportunities of “working from home”, with the potential of substantially increasing the financial base and strength of the marriage; not to mention the time, money and effort saved from avoiding the traffic-jam commutes from home to the workplace and back. Yet the insidious hazards of reducing the distinction between “worktime” and “home-time” must be clearly understood and keenly avoided. Nevertheless, the informationage, more than any before, provides the best breakthroughs for the empowerment of girls, women and wives, which should be fully embraced within our marriages.

The above can be further realised by taking full advantage of the revolutions in online education, training and self-developing; from the over-thenet enrollment in tertiary institutions worldwide to teaching sessions and how-to methods on Facebook, Youtube, and Linkedin. Here the all-important, limited and limiting, resource is TIME; time for all the aforementioned, and time for nourishing and enhancing the marriage! Of course, it can be proposed that the “one-on-one” time sacrificed in the present will be recoupled with enriched “oneon- one” time in the future. But this well-intentioned promise must be jealously protected from emerging technologies, which may consume even more time.

Technology, like personality and gender differences, must be diligently and purposefully made to work for and within the marriage; otherwise it will actively work against it!

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