Does Facebook Cause Divorce?

For the past year, the news reported that Facebook is dangerous for marriages. The statistic that 1-in-5 divorces are caused by Facebook circulated around the internet. However, The Wall Street Journal now reports the information is exaggerated, and the “1-in-5” statistic is not the result of scientific study.  A UK company that assists people in filing for divorce found that approximately 20% of their recent clients cited Facebook in divorce petitions. No credible study has indicated that social media, like Facebook, causes divorce.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“There isn’t much reliable research about what does cause divorce. Academic researchers don’t even agree on how to approach the question. Some have searched for predictive demographic factors, such as age and income. Others have studied married couples’ relationships to see which characteristics presage a split. Determining whether a couple is likely to break up, though, is different than identifying the actual cause.”

Facebook might not be the ultimate cause of divorce, but it may still be a factor. Social media websites have been cited in divorce petitions. Here are a few tips on how to prevent social media, like Facebook, from hurting your marriage.

  • Don’t “friend” old flames. Reconnecting with people you used to have a relationship with may lead to infidelity or jealousy.
  • Don’t air dirty laundry. While you may want to vent about difficulties in your relationship, your partner may view posting negative information as a betrayal.
  • Don’t spend more time online than offline. Social media provides a great opportunity to communicate with others, but make sure that communicating with your spouse remains the priority.
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