We’ve looked at social media providing evidence in divorce cases and why you should avoid social media communications during your divorce. However, relatively new research reported in 2014 indicates that social media use may actually be contributing to divorce rates.

According to CNBC, a study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior explored the relationship between state divorce rates and per-capita Facebook accounts. The researchers also evaluated data from a 2011–2012 survey about social media use and marriage quality.

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Using a variety of models to analyze the data, the study found a connection between social media use and decreased marriage quality. Does the study prove that social media use causes marital problems? No, it does not, not yet anyway. However, it does show a statistical relationship:

  • 20 percent annual increases in Facebook enrollment are related to a range of 2.18 to 4.32 percent increased divorce rates
  • The survey data predicts people not using social media are more than 11 percent happier in marriage than heavy social media users

Why is social media use connected with divorce?

The study has no conclusive data as to why. However researchers speculate that the reasons could be:

  • Partners in troubled marriages turn to social media as a support resource
  • Couples seek information about partners from other people through social media while avoiding direct contact
  • The addictive attributes of social media can create marital stress
  • Social media may enhance opportunities for extra-marital affairs

If you are considering divorce, you should seek legal help as soon as possible. Understanding the potential repercussions of divorce and your options can help you make informed decisions. C.E. Borman & Associates works closely with our clients and has more than 20 years of experience helping people with divorce.