Social Media’s Impact on Divorce
Social media has impacted our society in many good ways. Our lives have been made easier. Pretty much anything we want to know is quickly found at the end of a mouse click. We save time and effort by ordering products and planning travel online. We easily catch up with friends on numerous social media sites. But, there is also a down side..
Media and Relationships
Research has found that these sites can have a negative impact on relationships and may even contribute to divorce. A spouse may spend so much time that they neglect family time and hurt relationships. The temptation is there to look up former girlfriends or boyfriends and connecting could trigger past feelings and/or start an affair. One recent study from the journal, Computers in Human Behavior, used information gathered from U.S. Facebook accounts and found a link between social media use and decreased marriage quality. The study showed:
Using social media is negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce.
A twenty percent annual increase in Facebook enrollment was associated with a 2.18% to 4.32 % increase in divorce rates.
Reasons cited for these effects refer to “virtual adultery” and “internet infidelity” as being one of the culprits. Electronic communication may make users feel more open and free in their communication with others. It can be done anonymously and is easy to use to conduct an affair.
Social Media Used as Evidence in Divorce and Custody Proceedings
What you say on may be used against you. A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, showed that almost 99% of its member attorneys have seen an increase in evidence taken from smartphones (including text messages) and other wireless devices during the past three years. All were used for proving infidelity and other types of misconduct in family-law cases.
What Not to Post
While you’re married, even if divorce seems likely, avoid disparaging your partner on social media or using your Facebook page to vent about your relationship. If you need to vent, confide in a trusted personal friend in private or talk to a counselor or therapist. Airing marital laundry, even to your “friends list,” can make matters worse and might be used against you if you do file for divorce. Bottom line: If you’re considering divorce – even if you plan to file for divorce online and expect it to go amicably – take some precautions on social media.