Social media has quickly become an integral part of our daily lives. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have opened up new possibilities for online interactions, offering users a fantastic outlet to connect with strangers, reunite with old friends, and even form romantic relationships.
Whilst social media has done amazing things to improve the lives of many people, it also has a number of downsides. As well as promoting political divisions and raising concerns surrounding cybersecurity, social media platforms have started to interfere with people’s romantic relationships, leading to infidelities, marital problems, and in some circumstances even divorce.
According to a recent study published in Computers in Human Behaviour, couples without social media accounts are around 11% happier in their marriage than people who use social media regularly. Indeed, the same study also found that increasing levels of Facebook enrolment have been linked to an increase in divorce rates of between 2.18% and 4.32%.
So what is it about social media that has caused this increase in divorce rates?
Social Media Impedes Time Spent Together
The addictive quality of social media means that many people have become accustomed to checking their phones incessantly. This may negatively affect romantic relationships by hampering the quality of time spent together. We’ve all seen that couple in the café whose eyes are not on each other, but on their phones…
Social Media Can Increase Feelings Of Jealousy & Suspicion
People’s willingness to broadcast the details of their personal lives on social media has made it much easier for suspicious or jealous partners to keep tabs on the whereabouts and activities of their significant other. Whilst suspicions are often unfounded, it is easy to misread interactions on social media. A simple ‘like’, for example, can be read as outrageous flirtation. As many divorce lawyers will testify, seemingly simple social media interactions can cause serious conflict in a marriage and even lead to a relationship breakdown.
Social Media Can Facilitate Infidelity
Although jealousy surrounding social media use is often unwarranted, it is true to say that affairs have been made easier thanks to the internet. Indeed, many feel that smartphones and social media apps have facilitated a rise in online affairs. If these secret dalliances are discovered, then divorce tends to quickly follow.
What Should You Do If Social Media Has Affected Your Relationship?
If your marriage has been affected by social media in any of the aforementioned ways, rest assured that you are not alone. Whilst divorces affected by social media can be acrimonious, they do not have to be difficult.
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