Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow people in Michigan to connect with old friends, and sometimes to connect with old lovers. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, Facebook could be “the single greatest breeding ground ever for infidelity.” Indeed, numerous studies have suggested that infidelity is one of the most common reasons for divorce, and that extensive use of Facebook can in fact result in infidelity. An article in Psychology Today emphasizes that there is “evidence that many married men and married women are using Facebook as a means to communicate emotionally and/or sexually outside of their marriage,” and that the number of people doing so is “overwhelming.”
What do Michigan residents need to know about social media as a catalyst for divorce by way of promoting or giving a path to infidelity?
Evidence Suggests a Link Among Facebook Use, Marriage Dissatisfaction, and Infidelity
According to the Psychology Today article, there has been significant research into the links among Facebook usage, general marriage dissatisfaction, and infidelity. Studies collectively over the last few years have reached the following conclusions:
- Facebook encourages behaviors that are destructive to marriages, including but not limited to flirting, sharing personal and intimate information with another person, developing an emotionally intimate relationship with another person, and ultimately having a sexual affair with that person;
- Extensive use of Facebook has been tied to “general marriage instability and dissatisfaction”;
- Steady and persistent use of Facebook often leads to negative emotions, such as social isolation and feelings of distrust, which can lead to infidelity and ultimately to divorce;
- Extramarital affairs that begin through Facebook contact begin in marriages in which the spouses already were unhappy, but also in marriages where the spouses previously indicated a level of satisfaction with the relationship;
- Even if an in-person sexual affair does not occur as a result of Facebook contact, the development of a close emotional relationship over Facebook can also lead to detachment from a spouse and the desire to file for divorce;
- High percentages of individuals filing for divorce indicate that communications over Facebook played a role in their decision to get divorced.
Facebook May Lead to Divorce, and It Can be Used Against You in a Divorce
Why does Facebook often lead to infidelity-either emotional or physical-and ultimately to some divorce filings? Facebook gives people an easy platform through which to make contact with old flames as well as to meet friends of friends. But moreover, the desire for that type of contact also frequently stems from Facebook use. People log into social media accounts and see what the Time Magazine article describes as “highly curated vacation photos” and other images of seemingly perfect lives, which can make your life seem “more depressing than it probably is.”
These feelings can lead individuals to reevaluate their lives, often unnecessarily, and to seek fulfillment outside their marriages. Even emotional infidelity can harm a marriage and can lead to divorce. And as both article underscore, not only may Facebook ultimately result in the dissolution of marriage, but anything you post on social media can be used against you in your divorce case.
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