Summary Report on Family and Technology

  • Itsekiri NextGen Project: 2022 Session 18 Report
  • Topic: Family and Technology
  • Date: Saturday 14/05/2022
  • Volunteers Present: 4
  • Total Number of Attendees: 95
  • Timings: 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Venue: Former Caravan 4, Aja Pessu (Pessu Town), Warri
  • Main Topic/Activity: Family and Technology
  • Resource Person: Itsekiri NextGen team

Summary

The 18th session was an introduction session on family and Technology. May 15th happened to be an international day for families. As the family is an expedient part of society, technology can be used to bridge the gap between family members separated by long distances instead of causing vacuums in homes.

Session Delivery

The session began with an opening prayer. This was followed by a review of the previous session on health assessment by Sholaye Edun. She made participants do a listening exercise by standing in a straight line and with each participant facing the back of the next. She then spoke a word into the ear of the person at the beginning of the line. The Word was passed on to the next person until it got to the person at the end of the line. In the end, the word was distorted as it passed on from one person to another and got to the last person as completely different words. This shows that communication is not as easy as it seems. One has to be attentive and careful so as not to pass on wrong information.

Omatsola Okpeyeaghan anchored the main session on family and Technology in alignment with the international day for families celebration; on May 15th. He did it passionately as it is a practical topic. He referred to how Williams in the movie ‘the boy who harnessed the wind’ solved the problem of famine with his local technology (wind vane). Thereby making them know that technology is to solve one problem or the other.

Different social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tiktok, Instagram, and Telegram were displayed and participants were asked to mention their names and their uses.  They did mention the names of the applications, but believe that they are mainly used for video sharing and chatting.

Discussions then centred on the functionalities of the applications, with some participants only thinking of the negative uses, such as the use to “attract clients” for internet fraud. They believe this is now a trend among youngsters the same age as some older participants. This tells that there is a need to do extra work to change the mindset of a lot of our teenagers. Following on from this discussion, Omatsola guided the conversation on the positive use of technology. He advised them that these applications have positive use that when harnessed properly outweigh the negative. He listed some positive uses;

  • Communications, i.e. to communicate information and ideas to people no matter their geographical locations. We can now reach out to our relatives and friends far away via these technologies in real-time, as against letter writing in the olden days which took a long time before it is received.
  • They can be used to promote business, talents and careers. You can easily sell and attract customers on social media from all parts of the world. Also, social media influencers emerge daily and are now full careers.
  • They aid educational research as people post a lot of educational materials online daily
  • They serve as an avenue for entertainment, especially with several skit makers now having full careers by just creating content on social media.
  • It creates a shared experience as families can share memories together through a social media application.
  • Parents can see students’ progress in school online in real-time. Checking WAEC and JAMB results online is one example.
  • Parents can use technology to create a home security system. Installation of CCTVs at home and tracking these through the use of technology.

After highlighting some positives of technology and family, Omatsola discussed the challenges of technology in family life. Kids and parents alike get distracted easily due to the access to smartphones, computers, and other gadgets. As a result of this, school work and house chores are ignored leading to a backlog of tasks or assignments as they get engrossed in these gadgets. Also, family life suffers as there is no real-time relationship between parents and children because everyone is busy chatting, watching videos, pictures or surfing the internet. These technologies have created vacuums that beg to be filled in homes, even though they have positive effects.

He also highlighted the lack of outdoor activities for most children. As younger people, we were always physically active with a variety of games ranging from game box, to siwe and ten ten. These were beneficial to us as children, as they helped us develop social and analytical skills, which are essential to our development. These games also meant we had a healthy lifestyle as we studied in school, finish our lessons, were able to play before 6 pm and still had time to spend with our parents before sleeping.

Other key activities during the session

At the end of the session, the Itsekiri national anthem was sung by Mitchell Tuedon and everyone sang along with her.

Participants borrowed books from the Itsekiri NextGen Library in preparation for our next session, focusing on Book Review.

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