Courtesy of my talented guest blogger Jennn Fusion
Divorce lawyers report that social networking sites like Facebook are largely to blame for the tremendous spike in divorce rates and extra-marital affairs in recent years. Facebook was cited in 1 out of 5 divorce filings, one lawyer told the UK Telegraph. Similarly, Mark Keenan of Divorce-Online.com reports 20 percent of all divorce petitions contain references to Facebook. “The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
Long gone are the days when suspicious spouses need to hire private eyes to track, spy and dig up evidence of infidelity. Nowadays, you just spend a few hours combing through wall posts, pictures, new friends and comments. If you’re really wily, you can decode your husband or wife’s password and read inbox messages too. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers went so far as to say 81% of their cases over the last five years involved social networking “evidence” of cheating.
It’s unfair to blame social networking sites for divorces because, as a Facebook spokesperson put it, “Facebook doesn’t cause divorces, people do.” Yet, it’s easy to see how the transparency inherent in social media can get people in rocky relationships in big trouble. In one case, “My marriage is over,” wailed a spouse in her Facebook status,” prompting other friends and family members to reach out to her (completely unaware) husband with concern. In another case, a woman going through a custody battle claimed to be sober, when dated pictures of her drinking at parties clearly showed otherwise. A divorced man claimed he had no money to make his alimony payments – yet his ex-wife discovered pictures of a new BMW posted on his Facebook page. A married man left the fact that he was married with children off his Facebook profile, while he emailed old flames from college – a big faux pas in his wife’s eyes, who later hacked his account and messaged these potential threats to her marriage.
As TIME Magazine put it, the number of divorce lawyer clients turned social networkers has resulted in “the kind of semipublic laundry-airing that can turn aggrieved spouses into enraged ones and friends into embarrassed spectators.”
Do you have any stories where Facebook has effected someone relationship?