Facebook Cited in 1/3 of Divorces
Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg changed his own status to ‘married’ on the social media site recently, a recent survey in the UK says his website may be causing a full one-third of all new divorces filed in that nation. The survey found that the practice of unhappy couples complaining about their spouse’s behavior on Facebook is growing exponentially and the many inappropriate messages posted there seem to be the biggest source of complaints. The latest survey’s findings back up another UK study of 5000 new divorce petitions that recently noted that over 33 percent of the divorce cases filed there last year also listed Facebook as a major contributing factor to the breakup. The rapid growth of the Facebook problem is quite apparent when one considers that just three years ago only 13 percent of the new divorce filings in the UK cited the giant social media site as a contributing factor.
Here in the United States, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has already noted the growing phenomenon and last year nearly 80 percent of its members reported that the number of divorce cases involving the social media network was rising steadily. It appears that when someone wants to have an affair or flirt with a member of the opposite sex, Facebook makes it much easier, and according to marriage counselors, illicit romances that might have taken months or years to develop in the past can now occur with just a few easy clicks on Facebook. The obvious conclusion is that married couples need to be more careful about what they post on Facebook as they can often turn up in court as evidence. Incriminating status updates, suspicious check-ins at restaurants and inappropriate photographs are all now commonly being used as ammunition in divorces.
With Facebook’s recent IPO offering on Wall Street, the social media site shows no signs of slowing down or losing popularity, and even when an affair develops in the real world offline, the site still provides a ready place for unhappy couples to vent and create new suspicions. Unlike the slow pace of meeting complete strangers on traditional dating websites, Facebook can help reconnect old flames and allows people to befriend someone they may have only met once or twice, which has the effect of creating (apparently) irresistible temptations and potential pitfalls for people who would have otherwise never even imagined having an extra-marital affair.