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Social Media Use and Divorce

 Posted on December 01, 2015 in Divorce

social media, facebook, divorce, Naperville divorce lawyerIs heavy usage of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram an early indicator that you are heading towards divorce? While you are connecting with friends and family around the world, are you neglecting the most important relationship: your marriage? While a little screen time is certainly nothing to be afraid of, a recently published study found that heavy usage of social media sites does in fact correlate with higher divorce rates. Is your Facebook use putting your marriage at risk?

People have long wondered about social media's impact on in person relationships. Families spend whole dinners on their individual devices. Couples lay in bed next to each other scrolling through Instagram on their Ipads rather than communicating. Everywhere you look someone is texting, tweeting, or scrolling through social media sites. If you feel like social media has disconnected you from your spouse, you are not alone. Because of this, researchers at Boston University set out to find any real correlation between broken marriages and social media use. Studying married couples between 2008 and 2011, researchers found that there is a significant correlation between heavy social media use and relationship troubles and divorce.

Consistent Across Demographics

To start, researchers analyzed data on married couples in 43 states collected from 2008 and 2010. They compared divorce rates with the number of Facebook users within each state, and found that a 20 percent growth in Facebook users typically showed an average of a 2.18 percent growth in the state’s divorce rate. They also factored in other variables like education level, race, and employment status, and found that the correlation between Facebook users and divorce rates remained constant. While this initial research showed a definite connection between social media usage and divorce, the researchers decided further studies were needed.

In 2011, University of Texas at Austin conducted a study that polled 1,160 married people, asking them questions about the quality of their relationship. They were asked how happy they were in their relationship, if they had any extramarital relationships, if their parents had ever been divorced, and what their social media habits were. Of the more than 1,000 people surveyed, those that did not use social media reported being 11.4 percent happier with their marriage compared to those that use social media heavily. Heavy social media users were also found to be 32 percent more likely to consider leaving their spouse, compared to 16 percent with non users.

Convenient and Easily Accessed

It makes sense that unhappily married people would turn to Facebook and other social media sites. Sites like Facebook can be used to make social connections, often with people who are essentially strangers. People in unhappy relationships can easily turn to social media if they are lacking something from their marriage, and it can start even subconsciously. Facebook makes this easy, as they recently added a feature where users can find “people that you may know.” People also may be using Facebook and other social media sites as a source of emotional support, if they already sense problems in their marriage.

While the study’s authors say they find the data alarming, their ultimate goal is to make people aware of the potential impacts of social media use. They suggest married people just trust their instincts. If your significant other seems more into Facebook posts than your marriage, you could have a serious problem on your hands.

Speak to a qualified Naperville divorce attorney if you believe you and your spouse are headed towards divorce. The experienced team at Pesce Law Group, P.C. is available to assist you today with any divorce needs. Call 630-352-2240 today to schedule your consultation with an attorney.


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