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Electronic Gadgets, Social Media Contribute To Divorce In Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR:The use of electronic gadgets and the social media, which has become the trend and lifestyle, especially of the young generation, is said to be a factor that contributes to divorce.

Dean of the Education Faculty, Universiti Malaya, Associate Professor Dr Mariani Mohd Nor, who is a psychologist, said applications, like WhatsApp, have become a platform for young couples to express their anger during domestic conflicts.

“WhatsApp helps to forge closer ties among family members, but it has been abused, especially by the young generation.

“When they express anger by sending messages in WhatsApp, it can give a different perception and intonation from what is actually intended by the sender,” she told Bernama.

She was commenting a report in the Kosmo newspaper two days ago on the divorce rate among Muslim couples, which was worrying with more than 274,000 divorce cases reported nationwide in six years.

Statistics by the Malaysian Syariah Judicial Department showed 38,035 couples were divorced between January and August last year, indicating that an average of 156 Muslim couples were divorced daily.

According to the newspaper, the factors leading to the divorce were irreconcilable differences, infidelity, family interference and financial problem.

Dr Mariani said there was also a tendency for WhatsApp users to cheat on their partners by befriending others.

“The use of the social media, like Facebook and Instagram, can also affect relations among married couples because of their insensitivity with the posting of unsuitable photographs and status,” she added.

She said married couples facing domestic conflict should discuss their problems and seek counselling.

A part-time lecturer at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr Saedah Abdul Ghani said the module for pre-marriage courses which potential brides and bridegrooms were required to attend had to be reviewed to meet changing times.

She said the course should emphasise aspects on marriage psychology, as well as skills to address domestic conflict and suggested institutions of higher learning to offer studies relating to family and marriage counselling.

A registered counsellor, Associate Professor Dr Mohamed Fadzil Che Din, of the National Defence University, Malaysia, said married couples should realise that divorce could affect their children and family, and also their career.

“They should know about effective communication, like managing conflict, handling crisis and family psychology,” he added.

— BERNAMA

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