Facebook and other social media networks are trends that seem like they're
here to stay, but engaging in social media may be a predictor of divorce
for some couples.
"Computers and Human Behavior" Study
A study called "Computers and Human Behavior" found that Facebook
and other social media usage is correlated with lowered satisfaction with
marriage and higher divorce rates. The study notes that in the two-year
period between 2008 and 2010, Facebook had a boom in users that corresponds
with a 2% increase in United States divorces.
The study has offered two explanations as to why this link may exist:
- Using social media frequently weakens marriages and is a cause in divorce; and
- Social media is a tool used by those in unhappy marriages to connect with others.
For every 20% increase in Facebook usage, the divorce rate would increase
2.18%. This correlation remained consistent across employment status,
age, and race. Those that did not use Facebook were 11.4% happier with
their marriages than those that did.
Facebook Does Not Support Marriage
This study backs up others that support the same conclusion: Facebook use
and marriages are not the best combination. A 2009 article in the NY Daily
News stated that 1 in 5 divorce cases cited Facebook as an issue. A year
later, in 2010, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers cited an increase
of 81% of lawyers seeing social media usage in divorce cases.
Facebook provides an easy way to meet people with mutual interests and
friends, and for those feeling unhappy in their marriage, also provides
a means of support that those who do not use social media may not have.
Since social media usage can be implicated in an increasing number of divorce
cases, it may be beneficial to examine your and your spouse's social
media usage. This can indicate the need for counseling or a consultation
with a divorce lawyer. Either way, social media usage may mean a couple
needs to have a conversation about their relationship.