However, when used improperly, social networking can be a major factor in why some seemingly healthy and happy marriages end in divorce.
A recent survey sponsored by a group in the UK reports that Facebook has been linked to 33% of divorces, which is a 13% increase from 2009. When people begin to obsess about the lives of others through Facebook, especially if reconnecting with former boyfriends, girlfriends or acquaintances, it can lay the groundwork for serious marital problems. What may start out as innocent communication has the potential to escalate into something inappropriate that can do irreversible damage to a marriage.
It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint exactly how Facebook contributes to divorce. Often husbands and wives have personal problems that cause one or both spouses to seek comfort through social networking. At the same time, there have been many perfectly contented couples who suddenly and inadvertently found themselves caught up in the world of cyber relationships. Before they know it, they are engaging in inappropriate behaviors that can harm a marriage and end up resulting in divorce.
Tips to Avoid Pitfalls of Social Networking
-All passwords should be shared between spouses.
-Computers, lap tops, or tablets should be used in common areas of the homes.
-Time restrictions should be set and adhered to. It is a good idea for people to have a limited number of minutes on social media each day.
-Look for the danger signs. People should make it clear to online contacts that they are not looking for anything more than simple, cordial reconnections. Late night conversations should always be avoided, especially when one’s partner is asleep.
-Never hesitate to block “friends” whose communication causes uncomfortable or inappropriate feelings that are not conducive to a healthy marriage.
Social Network Postings can Affect Court Proceedings
In addition to maintaining appropriate behaviors when social networking in order to avoid divorce, it is important to remember that all communication on Facebook is never completely private. When couples find themselves facing divorce, postings have the potential to affect divorce proceedings including child custody disputes, property division and alimony.