Why more and more people are saying ‘Facebook ruined my marriage’
In the past five years, we have seen a remarkable increase in the number of instances in which Facebook, and other social media sites such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, have been cited in divorce proceedings.
The fact is that use of social media is now such a large part of many of our lives that when a relationship is in trouble, online activity frequently becomes a bone of contention. One aspect of using social media which causes tension is keeping in contact with ex-partners.
There has also been a raft of recent research commissioned that has revealed some startling statistics. One particular survey of 2,000 married UK residents brought to light the following;
* 15% of those questioned believed that social media posed a danger to their marriage
* around 25% said they argued with their partner at least once a week because of social media use
* for 17%, such arguments were a daily occurrence
* 14% of respondents said they had even contemplated divorce because of their partner's social media activity
* just under 50% admitted to secretly checking their spouse's Facebook account and 20% of those say that they went on to have a row about their discoveries
The most commonly cited reason for one partner checking the other's social media accounts was to keep tabs on who they were talking to and to see if they were lying about their social life.
* 14% admitted to scouring their partner's social media accounts for evidence of an affair
* 10% kept images and posts hidden from their partner
* 8% even had secret accounts
There is no doubt that use of social media can make a divorce even more painful than it already is. Online postings can be incredibly antagonistic and can make an amicable resolution to the breakdown of a relationship much more difficult. So much so that as family law practitioners and divorce specialists, we advise that great care is exercised in your use of social media. You may also wish to consider the following points.
Top Social Media Tips
- Don’t complain about your relationship online. Talk to your partner instead.
- Learn how to use your privacy settings. Who can see your posts? If you don't know, find out.
- Ideally, make sure your partner is OK with what you post before you post it.
- Never post immediately after a row. Anything posted in anger will probably be regretted and deleting the post may not be enough to undo the damage.
Social media can be a bit of a minefield when a relationship is breaking down so be mindful of what you post online.
For advice on any family law matter please contact Amanda Weaver.