Facebook and divorce have been linked to each other in a new study. Facebook and other social media have fundamentally changed how people create and maintain relationships. However, a new study indicates that Facebook may be harmful to romantic relationships. New research to be published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking has found that people with high usage rates of Facebook (defined in the study as checking Facebook accounts approximately every hour) are much more likely to experience “Facebook-related conflict with their romantic partners, which then may cause negative relationship outcomes including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.
The study’s author noted that previous research has demonstrated that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely that person is to stringently monitor their partner’s Facebook activity, which can lead to jealousy, distrust and arguments about past partners. The study further found that persons with high levels of Facebook usage were more likely to reconnect with past romantic partners, which, the author states “may lead to physical and emotional cheating.”
Although this trend was particularly pronounced in couples who had been together for three years or less, the trend was also found in couples with more established relationships as well. To avoid this conflict, the authors suggest that the use of Facebook be moderated by high frequency users to lower, healthier levels to reduce the likelihood of inflicting damage on the romantic relationship through jealousy, distrust and reconnecting with past romantic partners.
Facebook and other forms of social networking appear to playing a more and more significant role in Texas divorce and child custody cases. In the Harris County courts, Houston divorce lawyers frequently see social media issues arise as evidentiary issues in hearings and trial regarding photographs and statements posted by parties.
Also, as suggested by this new study, social media appears to be also playing a larger role in the driving motivator for parties to file these cases in Houston family law courts such as in cases where a spouse’s extra-marital affair is inadvertently revealed on a social media site. With social media, as in many areas of life, the old saying rings true – don’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want your mother to see.