Facebook socializing vs your marriage? How serious is it? London-based firm “Slater & Gordon” dealing with family law commissioned a survey embracing 2,000 married people about their Facebook activities and how they affect their relationships. According to the firm, they were prompted by the fact that social media contacts are cited as cause of divorce more often year in, year out.
It turns out that in the society so well equipped with laptops, smartphones and numerous other gadgets social media are taking more and more of people’s time thereby driving them away from real-life relationships.
About 50% of the people polled admitted that they are not above checking their partner’s Facebook account on the sly to see whom they are contacting. Of these 20% made discoveries that brought about a family row.
In toto, Facebook and other similar sites (Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp) are the cause of one and more quarrel per week, and with 17% these kinds of fight have become a daily occurrence.
Usually people take a peep at their partners’ accounts just to see who they keep up conversing with, whether they asked somebody out and whether they are generally honest about their social lives. The suspicious 14% checked accounts for definite proof of cheating. About the same number (14%) revealed that upon having acquainted themselves with their partners’ social networking activities they thought of filing for divorce.
The family law experts’ head, Andrew Newbury, commented in his summing-up that while being an excellent means of maintaining regular contacts with relatives and friends, social media poses a certain danger to relationships. During the last five years Facebook has gone a long way from an almost negligible factor in divorce cases to frequent citing at divorce proceedings. Newbury specifically mentions the famous site – which he dubbed “the new marriage minefield” – as a present-day routine reason for initiating divorces.
This is one of the saddest results of the popularity of the site visited by over 556 million users every day. Marital troubles are often caused not only by inappropriate findings on the net, but also by the amount of time spent online. 15% of British married people claim that social networking sites threaten their relationship, Facebook named as the most dangerous with Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp following close behind.
The most frequent sores include contacting exes, posting unseemly photos and maintaining secret correspondence. 5% of the polled are peeved by the fact that their partners don’t post photos with them together.
Every third person said their log-in information is kept private and not revealed to partners. On the other hand, almost 60% claimed to know their spouses’ log-ins – even if it was supposedly kept secret from them! 10% confessed they regularly hid posts and photos from their partners, and 8% said they had secret accounts.
It is small wonder, then, that every fifth checker felt unsure about their relationship when they made unpleasant discoveries on their partners’ Facebook profiles. 43 per cent’s reaction was to have it out immediately with their other halves, while 40% opted to let it sink in properly before they felt they could broach the subject.
Newbury added that the firm made it their regular practice to warn clients about the possible dangers of using Facebook and similar sites for their current relationships.
Besides, he pointed out, “social media can make a divorce more difficult”. Divorce is stressful in itself, but when parties are further antagonized by inappropriate social media activities, it can complicate matters and decrease the possibility of a quick resolution.
5 good pieces of advice for social media users who are in relationship
Never post anything when you’re angry – what you posted can be immediately viewed by those who know you and thousands of other people. Your subsequent deletion may not prevent the damage.
Mind you respect your family members and friends and never complain about them online.
Stay transparent and let your partner in on what you are going to post.
Make sure your privacy settings are what you want them to be, and other people really can’t see what they are not supposed to.
Just enjoy what’s happening: you don’t have to post it immediately – or at all.