Facebook is the main reason behind every fifth divorce in the US, according to the findings of a new survey conducted by Ammerican Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).
Some additional stats revealed by AAML show that 81 percent of US lawyers have reported and increase in the number of cases that cite evidence obtained from the social networking sites as a proof to file for divorce. This trend has been steadily rising for the past five years, and coincides perfectly with the evolution of social media.
The undisputed leader in social media, Facebook is also the undisputed leader in providing evidence for divorce filings. According to the AAML survey 66 percent of the respondents state that the primary evidence for divorce filings are based on Facebook, with MySpace following at 15 percent and Twitter at 5 percent.
According to Marlene Eskind Moses, President of the AAML:
Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny. If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence. As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations.
Facebook may never tag itself as a dating site, but it provides all the tools that are available on traditional dating sites to let people connect. In fact due to the social nature of Facebook, it might be more suited to finding dates. On traditional dating sites, although one’s intention is to find a significant other, but the fact that you dont know that person before hand makes the connection all the more difficult. Where as on Facebook, even though you might not be looking for a date when you connect with someone you knew from high school. But the fact that you already knew him and were emotionally attached to him/her at some point in time goes a long way in transforming an innocent “hello how are you doing mate” to a full fledge affair.
Steven Kimmons, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois said in a statement that:
We’re coming across it more and more. One spouse connects online with someone they knew from high school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook. Within a short amount of time, the sharing of personal stories can lead to a deepened sense of intimacy, which in turn can point the couple in the direction of physical contact. I don’t think these people typically set out to have affairs. A lot of it is curiosity. They see an old friend or someone they dated and decide to say ‘hello’ and catch up on where that person is and how they’re doing.
At the end of the day, Facebook is merely a tool for social communication and its upto the users to decide how to make use of it. However, Facebook has been phenomenal in bringing already bumpy relationships to a speedy end by providing alternatives that might not have been so readily available in the past.