The number of studies conducted recently that reveal a correlation between divorce and social media are staggering. But what does that mean for you? Should you should give up your social media accounts and swear off all online activity to maintain your marriage? Not so fast… While nobody is requiring you to pursue a life ‘off the grid,’ there are some things you need to consider when it comes to social media and divorce.
Facebook use can earn you ‘single’ status:
Most married couples have separate Facebook accounts and many of these accounts are joined through the relationship status listed on their pages. But a recent study revealed more than half of the married couples out there check up on their spouse’s Facebook activity and many of them aren’t happy about it.
In fact, almost a quarter of the 2000 people interviewed for the study said that they argued with their spouse at least once a week about their social media use. Seventeen percent said that they fought daily about it. Given the number of people for whom Facebook use causes difficulties in their marriages, it isn’t a big surprise to learn that Facebook is cited in divorces more often than not these days. The family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm confirm that social media sites, including Facebook, surface is so many divorce and custody cases in Michigan.
Big brother is watching you:
Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other social media sites and apps, we now live in a world where we are under constant scrutiny. A great deal of what you say and do is documented and made available to anyone with access to the internet, the world over. Anyone includes your spouse, your kids, other family members, the courts and Children’s Protective Services, lawyers, teachers and clergy.
You would do well to remember that your conduct is often not a private as you think. Almost everyone around you has a phone with a camera and accounts with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope and many others. If what you are doing could affect your marriage or the outcome of your divorce, you would be advised to be careful.
Password protection isn’t relationship protection:
According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the majority of American couples maintain individual email and social media accounts. In addition, as many as two thirds of those couples share passwords with each other. However, while lots of couples are comfortable allowing their partners behind-the-scenes access to their social media lives, there are also a great many couples for whom it is critical to maintain their autonomous privacy.
An unrelated study that dealt with divorce and social media revealed that more than half of today’s couples know their spouse’s social media passwords, whether their spouses are unaware of that or not. That means that even if you have a separate account from your spouse, they may still know exactly what you’re doing behind their back. Here’s a safe rule to follow: If you don’t want your spouse or your children to know about it, don’t post it on social media.
There is a lot to consider when you are viewing your marriage, or your divorce, through a social media lens. Join us next time as we continue with our list of facts you should know about social media and it’s impact on relationships.