Most everyone these days is active on social media: whether you connect with old friends and family via Facebook, pin recipes you want to try to Pinterest, share your favorite photos on Instagram or follow friends via quick tweets on Twitter. But, is social media responsible for ending marriages? For many, social media is a fun and harmless way to reconnect with old friends, family who lives out of state, or to find new friends. But, for a growing number of couples, social media becomes the downfall of their marriage, and ultimately leads to divorce.
How social media can lead to divorce?
Social media gives us unprecedented, easy access to people from our past - including old lovers, ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, or former crushes. In the past, these flames would likely have stayed just that - in the past - but with the advent of new technology and social media platforms, reconnecting with that ex-boyfriend, or the girl who always secretly loved through high school is easier than ever. Additionally, because social media platforms are available via smart phones and tablets, which are often personal devices not shared with anyone else, including your spouse, you connects can easily remain private, which can lead to secrecy and secret behaviors.
Recent studies have found that as many as 1 in 7 divorces these days is caused in part by some sort of social media interaction. In some cases, obsessions with social media lead to divorce. When partners spend hours a day online, instead of interacting with their spouses, families and loved ones, resentment and distance can build, and ultimately, if not treated, that resentment and distance can lead to divorce.
More commonly however, social media interactions go from innocent to "cheating", and once discovered by a spouse, result in separation and divorce.Some other recent studies have found that increased social media use may be tied to marital dissatisfaction, as spouses feel relegated to second place, following online friends and connects.
What can you do to keep your marriage healthy while using social media?
Like other forms of technology, social media is a tool to use, and how you use it has direct impacts on your life and the lives of your family and friends. Using social media in responsible ways, for responsible periods of time on a daily or weekly basis can help keep your marriage healthy. Like any activity, if you are engaging in social media for hours a day, hours that you could be spending with your spouse and/or family, resentment is likely to build. If you are connecting with former flames and keeping that secret from your spouse, that secret, like any secret you keep from your spouse, is likely to have lasting consequences once discovered.
Do you have any social media rules in your marriage? Has social media impacted your relationship or marriage? Tell us in the comments below.