With the growing number of Facebook and other social media network users, it’s not too difficult to imagine how this is starting to have dramatic effects on our personal lives, specifically with regards to marriage rates as information released from a survey taken by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that one in five divorce cases cite Facebook as a factor in their divorce. This is not surprising given the next set of statistics taken from the survey shows that over 80% of divorce lawyers report a rise in the use of social networking sites to engage in extramarital affairs.
Should we be surprised at the results of this alarming survey? In an age where technology is used increasingly in our personal lives, we really shouldn’t be. This is especially true when socializing and connecting with people has been made so convenient with people literally available to us at our fingertips. Divorce and extramarital affairs are bound to happen, even when a relationship starts out with the most innocent of intentions.
Take a look at chat rooms, such as those provided by AOL and Yahoo, when Internet socializing first began to take off. Chatting through various themed ‘rooms’ was often done with people you didn’t know but it did not dampen the rendezvous and relationships that came from these. With Facebook offering its own form of chatting, take this same type of experience that you would get from chat rooms yet do it with people you know or knew at one time – many of these people being possible exes or crushes from a time long since passed – and it’s a potential recipe for marriage disaster.
Now, that is not to say that Facebook is all bad, it’s not and I am no exception to its allure. I too have added an ex or two but let the past be the past; catch up on old times and leave it at that. If someone wants to add you as a friend and you have an inkling that this person may just be a little bit sweet on you, it’s okay to decline that person’s request. It’s okay, really, I dare you. The point is don’t get caught up in the draw and temptation of a potentially marriage ruining situation.
Ultimately, the responsibility should be put squarely on the shoulders of the people involved in any social network spawned romance and not the tools used to get you there. However, in the days of instant gratification and hi-tech, high speed living, it plays all too large of a role, one that is getting more prominent in relationships than ever before.