It seems as if everyone is on social media today and the statistics confirm this. According to Pew Research Trust, seven in ten Americans connect with others on social media, which is a shocking increase from just five percent of the population a little over a decade ago.
But how does social media impact a marriage? If you or your spouse are spending time on Facebook and other websites, there are a few things you should know about the pitfalls of these platforms.
Is Social Media Terrible for Your Marriage?
Social media is not inherently good or bad, but there are some less positive aspects of these sites. One recent study found that the increased use of the internet over time was associated with higher levels of stress, depression, and loneliness, and decreased well-being.
Of course there are positive aspects to social media. For couples that are forced to spend time apart, social networks can act as another way to stay connected. Social media also allows friends and co-workers to become closer by getting an “inside view” into your social settings.
Positive aspects aside, some experts caution married couples about spending either too much time on these networks or the wrong “type” of time. In fact, there are several dangers associated with an irresponsible use of social media.
Social Media Can Be a Distraction
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship when you or your spouse are distracted. Another study found that some couples admitted to being unable to break away from internet use and others even stated that they preferred to be online instead of spending time with a partner.
Secrecy, Flirting, and Social Media
While some us of have very public crushes on celebrities, other infatuations can be more harmful to a relationship. Social media was created to make connections, but some in committed relationships take this too far.
If you or your spouse are flirting with others on social media, spending time in online “stalking” activities, and hiding actions from each other, this is a dangerous activity that can jeopardize your marriage.
Social Sites and the Potential for Jealousy
Do you worry about what your spouse is doing on social media and feel the need to “keep tabs” on their activity when they aren’t looking? Or is your partner beginning to become jealous of your time spent online?
In reality, these feelings may be justified since about one-third of divorces begin as online affairs. If social media has become an issue in your marriage, it may be time to step back and have a conversation about your relationship.
While you shouldn’t necessarily ditch your social profiles for the sake of your relationship, it’s helpful to get a fresh perspective on how these sites can impact a marriage. Just like anything else, how social media is used (or not used) matters more than anything else.
If your marriage is in trouble and you are considering divorce, speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable family law attorneys about your options. Click here to schedule a free consultation.