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Researchers say Facebook use may be linked to divorce

Spending too much time on social networking sites like Facebook may be hard on your relationship, according to a recent study. The study, which was published online recently in the journal Computers and Human Behavior, found that heavy use of Facebook and similar sites correllates strongly with divorce and marital problems among couples in the United States.

Researcher involved in the study found that people who do not use social networking sites were about 11 percent happier in their marriages than those who do. Meanwhile, spouses who use social media heavily were found to be nearly one-third more likely to consider leaving their marriages. The author of the study commented that although the findings may be startling, it makes sense that people may rely more on social networking sites when they are unhappy in their relationships. Furthermore, the connections formed on sites like Facebook may further fuel any underlying marital discontent.

Whether or not Facebook or other networking sites had anything to do with the reasons for divorce, they can also play a major role in how the divorce itself pans out. For this reason it is important for anyone who is going through a divorce -- or even considering it -- to be very careful how they use social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Even if you think you have nothing to hide, it may surprise you how easily an innocent-seeming post can work against you in a property settlement, child custody determination or other divorce-related proceeding. For example, a sarcastic comment about your ex or a joke photograph taken with friends may be taken out of context to suggest that you are hostile, uncooperative or irresponsible. Even something as simple as a "check in" at a business establishment can be used to undermine your credibility if it suggests you were dishonest about where you were or who you were with at a certain time.

Source: ScienceBlog, “Could Facebook Use End a Marriage?” June 2, 2014

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