Is Facebook an online destination for you to brag about your kids, stalk former classmates, or promote your business? For some people, Facebook and other social networking sites have become more than just a way to reconnect with blasts from the past or to market their product or service. For many, Facebook is an outlet – a place to play away from real life. And the consequences are leading to the demise of many a relationship, in Michigan and beyond.
A study from the University of Missouri being published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking has found that Facebook could be damaging users’ romantic relationships. Facebook users, ages 18 to 82, were surveyed to determine how often they use Facebook and if their frequency on the site caused conflict to arise between themselves and current or former partners. Excessive Facebook users (identified as people who check the site more than hourly!) are more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their partner, which could lead to cheating (offline) and divorce.
The Excessive Use of Facebook
The head researcher on the study says, “Previous research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy.” This, in turn, can lead to arguments about past partners. Because Facebook users are more likely to reconnect with previous partners via Facebook, this can make emotional and physical cheating far more likely… though there is a caveat.
The findings held only for couples who had been in a relationship of three years or less. Perhaps relationships that are more matured mean couples may not use Facebook as often or simply feel confident in their marriage and believe this social network is not a concern or threat.
Facebook has been linked to divorce in previous studies as well. The New York Daily News reported that Facebook was named in a third of divorce filings in 2011. And a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence of infidelity.
Social Media, Your Smartphone, and Michigan Divorce
Michigan is a no-fault state, so even if you know or believe that Facebook has led your marriage into divorce, you cannot technically claim that your spouse is to blame. Problematic behaviors can be identified as leading to a marriage’s end, however, and the use of Facebook, Twitter, and even texting – via computer or smartphone – may be admissible for your Michigan divorce case. Facts such as these could impact child custody, parenting time, and spousal support.
Worried about your own digital trail? Believe your spouse’s online habits have ruined your relationship? Discuss your Macomb County, Michigan, divorce questions and concerns with Femminineo Attorneys. Contact us to schedule your no-cost initial interview.