Common sense dictates that spending hours on Facebook rather than having quality interactions with one's spouse is not the best recipe for a healthy marriage. Most couples know this and they are likely to reserve time for some healthy non-digital activities with one another. However, the question remains: Is social media damaging our marital relationships, and is there a direct correlation between the amount of social media use and the likelihood of getting a divorce?
According to a group of researchers who published a study earlier in July in the Computers in Human Behavior journal, there is a direct link between social media use and divorce. The study says that it is extremely common these days for disagreements about social media to arise during divorce proceedings and/or it is common for social media to play some role in the reasons for the breakup.
But Which Comes First? Facebook Use or Marital Problems?
The thing is, the study was unable to determine whether increased use of Facebook and other forms of social media actually contribute to couples divorcing, or if it was the marital problems themselves that caused the increased use of social media. So, the researchers do not know if the increased use of Facebook is a symptom of relationship issues that need to be addressed, or if the social media is something dangerous to marriages.
Many readers of this blog may already be aware that previous studies linking social media use to divorce have been made. In 2011, the University of Texas published a study saying that those who used social media websites had a 32 percent chance of having thoughts about leaving their spouses. Conversely, only 16 percent of people who refrained from using social media had such thoughts.
Couples May Wish to Monitor Their Use of Social Media
Perhaps it is not that important if we know whether Facebook use causes marital problems or if marital problems cause Facebook use. Married couples may simply want to be aware of this connection and monitor their use of Facebook and other social media services. Divorces come about as a result of so many different and complex reasons that it is virtually impossible to determine why two individuals might grow apart.
Regardless of how divorce happens, couples will have different strategies available to them -- such as divorce mediation and out of court settlement -- which can help them separate emotionally, financially and legally in the most peaceful fashion possible.
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