Does Facebook Lead You to Infidelity and Divorce?

May 29, 2014

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Social networks let us stay connected. Facebook allows us to find people we haven’t seen in a long time. Twitter is a great way to stay up-to-date on news and things going on in the world.

While these social networks are great tools to connect with others, research has found that they help disconnect us from our significant others.

A survey of Facebook users last year (ages 18 to 82) found that those who spent excessive time on Facebook were more likely to experience conflict in their relationships. These conflicts were more apparent in relationships less than three years old and often led to cheating, a breakup, and divorce.

Most of the conflicts were a result of excessive monitoring of the significant other’s Facebook page, which led to feelings of jealousy and arguments concerning past partners. 

Also apparent was that those that spent more time on Facebook were more likely to reach out to other Facebook users, even those of the opposite sex. This practice may lead to infidelity.

Another study by the same group looked specifically at the effects of Twitter on relationships. Twitter users between the ages of 18 and 67 were surveyed.  In short, the more active a person was on Twitter, the more likely their relationship ended in cheating, breakup or divorce due to Twitter-related conflicts.

There was one key difference in the results of the two studies. With Facebook users, the negative effects of excessive Facebook use were apparent mostly in the relationships less than three years old.  With Twitter users, the negative effects of excessive Twitter use were apparent in all relationships, regardless of how long the couple had been in a relationship.

In summary, those who use Facebook or Twitter excessively without filtering who they chat with should consider cutting back to a moderate amount of time, especially if the excessive usage is causing contention in their relationship.  One other idea would be to create a shared social media account and apps that help facilitate communication between couples.