By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
A study released this week and reported by CBS News Atlanta reports that 20% of all marriages have ended in divorce because of social media sites, primarily Facebook. Divorce lawyers were interviewed and surveyed for this study conducted by The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the results were staggering, but not surprising- at least not to me!
Think about it…social media, especially Facebook leads to 1 in 5 divorces.
One divorce lawyer, David Sarif, told CBS Atlanta that social media sites are like Pandora’s Box, once opened it gets out of control. One CBS Atlanta employee whose name was protected said that his long-term girlfriend ended their relationship after reuniting on Facebook with a college “friend”.
Experts and divorce lawyers say it is because social media sites like Facebook allow people to explore the possibilities, see what’s out there, toy with the idea of being with a person who does and says things that they think their spouse wont. Social media sites allow a person to be secretive, communicate freely with people of interest, send private messages and arrange secret rendezvous’.
What can you do to protect your relationship?
Sarif said that he does the following things with his wife:
Don’t spend time on Facebook and other social media sites when you could and should be spending time with your spouse or significant other.
Be sure that your profile lists that you are married or in a relationship
Make sure that there are plenty of pictures of the two of you
Don’t engage in conversations with another person, (not your spouse/significant other) that you know you wouldn’t have if your spouse had access to the message
Be open with your accounts and freely share access to your page and password with your spouse.
I’m not sure if even those steps suggested by Sarif will keep a person from cheating online. I could of course be wrong. I think that if someone really wants to stray they will; some people may get an adrenaline rush at the thought of getting caught. Some people think they are too smart to get caught.
As far as having pictures of you and your spouse/significant other posted on your profile goes- uh well when has that stopped cheating before? When has that stopped someone from flirting and pursuing another person? People cheat and they have pictures of their spouse in their wallet, on their desk, in their cell phone, and as their screen saver on their computer. It’s no different than the transition from people getting caught with phone numbers in their pocket; by the year 2000 people were hip to the idea of saving numbers to their cell phone (and not using the person’s real name). People started investing in business cards and bam…everyone has one- the lies can continue; now with more creativity.
People think they are being really crafty by minimizing computer screens to prevent getting busted when their spouse walks into the room- funny thing is, when you do dirt it will always be revealed, so you can minimize that screen all day long, the truth will maximize the intensity of the light that will shine on your lie. No different than a former employee of mine who would try to quickly minimize the screens on her computer so I wouldn’t see her playing around on the Internet instead of doing her work. I would laugh because it was so obvious- but she couldn’t help herself.
If someone wants to be trifling they will find a way.
I believe that an honorable and trustworthy person who truly loves their spouse/significant other will simply do the right thing all of the time; they won’t entertain the idea of communicating with other people that they know they shouldn’t be speaking with- and yes they know who falls into this category; they won’t add people as “friends” that they know aren’t genuine friends, family or business associates; they won’t exchange email addresses, phone numbers, and IM screen names, etc. Lastly, the only time they are minimizing computer screens is because they are secretly planning a romantic getaway for the two of you or buying you a gift!
When it comes down to it, do you really have time to be checking up on your spouse/significant other? If you do, you need to use that time doing something else; if you need to check their accounts then you should ask yourself why you are with them. Just like I would have to add, if you have extra time to be online chatting and flirting with someone else then why are you in a relationship with your spouse/significant other? The time you’re investing in someone else could be invested in your relationship with the person you claim to love. Now that’s just my thoughts on the matter.
What are your thoughts?
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.