People are regularly using applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to document their lives publicize their personal views. Since these new social media outlets have emerged, there have been many studies that have outlined the negative impact that they can have on relationships and marriages. These studies have consistently shown that individuals who frequently access social media sites are more likely to experience conflict with their partners, thus suggesting a link between social media use and decreased quality of marriage.
A survey of 2,000 married people in Britain was conducted by family law specialists, Slater and Gordon. The study found that just under half of all people surveyed admitted that they have secretly checked their partner’s Facebook account and one in five went on to argue about what they discovered. The most common reasons people stated for checking their partner’s social media accounts was to find out who their partner was talking to, to keep tabs on them, to see who they were out with, and to find out if they were being honest about their social life. 14% said they looked specifically to find evidence of infidelity. Nearly a quarter said they had at least one argument per week with their partner because of social media use and 17% said they argued every day because of it. One in seven people said they even considered divorce because of their spouses’ questionable activity on social media.
If you fear social media use might be getting in the way of your marital happiness, consider the following suggestions:
- Do not use social media as a support system: No one wants their dirty laundry aired in a public forum by their spouse, no matter how cryptic you may think you are being. Instead, speak privately to close personal friends and family who you can trust.
- What you do not post is just as important as what you do post: A lack of mention or not putting up a certain picture can be just as damaging to your partner as what you do post. A partner may feel that you are attempting to hide his or her existence or feel that he or she is being excluded.
- Monitor the amount of time you spend on social media: A partner can similarly feel unappreciated if you spend more time on social media than quality time with him or her. Similarly, an excessive amount of time spent on social media and frequent communication with the same person can lead to jealousy and distrust from your spouse.
- Ensure that your accounts are secure: As illustrated above, people have admitted to hacking into their spouse’s social media accounts and arguments have followed. Make sure that your passwords are private and similarly resist the temptation to spy on your spouse.
If you are contemplating divorce, please contact the experienced attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum. Our team will discuss these tips with you and many others to help ensure a smooth completion of your case.