It’s not uncommon for people to get in trouble for posting things
to social media: kids play hookie only to have their sick day antics end
up on Twitter, catty remarks made about a boss are later reposted to said
boss’s wall, and underage college kids post themselves with red
solo cups to Instagram. But a new study reveals that Facebook may actually
be responsible for increased divorce rates.
The study, published in the July 2014 edition of
Computers in Human Behavior, analyzes the relationship between social media, marriage satisfaction,
and divorce. And the results are shocking–the more involved a person
is on Facebook the higher their risk of divorce.
These results are based in evidence that for every 20% increase in Facebook
users for a state, the corresponding divorce rate went up by 2 to 4%.
This seems small to the general public, but researchers claim that these
findings have statistical significance. However, it should be noted that
these findings are not necessarily cause-and-effect, and may have to do
with the fact that people in unhappy relationships are more likely to
go on Facebook.
The website is also shown to be responsible partially for 1 in 5 divorces
according to Loyola University. We’ve all heard of women finding
out their man was cheating through suspicious friends or statuses he was
tagged in, or men getting jealous of pictures a woman posts with other
men. Facebook can also be a tool for easily connecting people and may
therefore be seen as a tool for an affair.
The interesting thing is that any evidence found on Facebook can actually
be used in divorce suits or custody cases. This means that if you are
fighting for custody of your young child, but your spouse screenshotted
images of you partying and behaving irresponsibly, it may sway the judge
Some couples are actually using social media prenups to govern regulation
of a Facebook or Twitter account. Social media prenups may have clauses
restricting the posting of unsavory or embarrassing pictures, and even
restrict the extent to which a jilted spouse can complain on the networks.
Posts to Facebook are essentially public, due to the ever-changing privacy
policy, so if a spouse posts something that the other party finds offensive,
it can lead to reputational damage. This may even go so far as libel,
with parties filing suit against unfair and unjust statements. Facebook
may seem like a way to tell your friends what’s going on, but be
sure to use caution when discussing a breakup or civil court case. In
fact, confidentiality may require you to refrain from posting anything
regarding to legal proceedings. If your ex-husband finds out that you
were posting about how you are “almost guaranteed custody”
he may be able to confront you with violation of legal agreements.
So, married people out there: use Facebook with caution. It could hurt
you more than it hurts them. And if you feel like you have a divorce or
custody case where Facebook plays a prevalent role, contact our law offices
so we can arrange the evidence accordingly.