Facebook & Divorce-Is Social Media Ruining Modern Marriages?

A recent study correlates heavy Facebook use with divorce, but is it fair to say that social media sites like Facebook cause divorce?

he study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, found a correlation between unhappy marriages and social media use. Married people who spent more time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter reported more dissatisfaction with their marriages. They also reported that they were thinking about divorce.

While the creators of this study are quick to warn that correlation does not necessarily indicate causation, everyone has an opinion on the effect social media has on modern marriages. We probably all know a friend of a friend who divorced after their spouse was caught contacting an old high school flame, but what is the real data surrounding Facebook and divorce?

A History of Facebook, Marriage & Divorce

The study tracks some early data about Facebook’s effect on marriages. Some previous studies included those that stated:

  • Many divorce lawyers suggest that Facebook is responsible for causing 1 out of 5 divorces in the U.S.
  • In 2009, the first report on the topic was by Divorce-Online, which found that the word Facebook appeared in 989 of the company’s 5,000 most recent divorce petitions.
  • Another report by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that 4 out of 5 divorce lawyers cite evidence derived from Facebook.

This can be explained in two ways: either using Facebook weakens marriages and causes divorce, or people in troubled relationships use social media sites more often.

Why Facebook May be to Blame…

Social media can create an environment that provokes jealousy among partners (e.g. “why is my wife’s ex posting on her wall?”), harming the quality of the relationship. Social media facilitates users reconnecting with people with whom they’ve had past relationships, even those that were rather transitory. Facebook can cause suspicion that heightens over time—jealousy leads to increased surveillance of the partner’s Facebook page, ultimately having a negative effect on the relationship.

…and Why Facebook May NOT Be to Blame

The study also shows that excessive use of social media is associated with a compulsion to use the site that can negatively affect a person’s work and social life. Addiction to anything causes neglect of personal life, escapism and mental preoccupation—none of which is conducive to a happy marriage.

About our Albuquerque Divorce Lawyers

Whatever the reason for your divorce, the divorce lawyers at Sandia Family Law, can help you make sound decisions throughout the process of divorcing in New Mexico. Contact our Albuquerque divorce lawyers at (505) 544-5126 to schedule a FREE consultation!

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