Over the weekend Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg married his college sweetheart, Priscilla Chan, but if he isn’t careful, his relationship could be hurt the same way countless other marriages have been “wrecked” by Facebook. Experts, including divorce attorneys, say the social media website contributes to an increasing number of broken marriages.
According to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a legal services firm, more than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word ‘Facebook.’ Here in the U.S., over 80% of divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn. says “of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60% exclusively involve Facebook.”
K. Jason Krafsky, who authored the book Facebook and Your Marriage with his wife, Kelli, explains that affairs and flirtations that make take months or years to develop offline can happen “in just a few clicks” on Facebook where people are more emboldened behind the safety of a computer screen and often feel like they have more privacy than they really do. And if/when these couples end up in divorce court, their Facebook history — anything from wall posts, photos, and location check-ins — can be used to determine alimony and child custody.
Even for couples who aren’t married, Facebook can help create tension, jealousy, and anxiety. A quick search through the DW archives will prove that. I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received from people who wonder if a wall post left by some random girl on their boyfriend’s page “means something,” or why someone’s girlfriend still has photos of her ex posted. Just deciding when and how to change your relationship status can be a exercise in humility and lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
Has Facebook ever negatively impacted your relationships? If so, how?
[via Smart Money]