The continual rise of social media has impacted us all, but whilst it’s great we can now track down old friends easily this isn’t always wise. Many of us in the legal profession have for some time thought Facebook, and similar social media sites are a major reason for marriage failure and they need to be treated with caution.
Recent research from our friends across the water in the US, together with other reports on social media trends in divorce demonstrates just how dangerous some online activity has become. It used to be said that those unexpected business meetings were a tell-tale indicator of an affair, but excessive Facebook interaction seems to be a sign now. A recent study from Boston University found a link between social media use and decreased marriage quality. It also showed that a 20 per cent increase in Facebook enrolment was associated with a four per cent increase in divorce rates. This study believes it may be that social media’s highly addictive qualities create marital strife, and promote an environment for infidelity to take hold. This academic research seems to tie in with what we now see in family law departments. In studies in the United States around 80 per cent of lawyers have said social media is mentioned in divorce cases and this seems to be a statistic similar to what we are seeing in the UK. It can sometimes be people contacting old flames to see what they are up to or flirtatious behavior with strangers, which leads to full blown affairs.
It is clear Social Media is a dangerous environment for couples if used in this way and from the problems we have seen it cause, people need to be made aware of the pitfalls to avoid themselves becoming embroiled in this whole sorry state.
At Pearcelegal we have seen the sadness marriage break up can cause and in this era of opportunity not all options should be pursued.
You have been warned.
Nicholas Thomas, Family Law Expert, Pearcelegal