A recent study by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers has found that Facebook is now a factor in nearly one out of every five American Divorces. Additionally, some 80% of divorcees included in the survey reported using social media to investigate their spouse’s behavior in the time leading up to the split. Facebook was again the big culprit, making up 66% of social media cited as evidence in divorce cases, followed by MySpace (15%), Twitter (5%) and other cites making up the remaining 14% (you know some of your cousins are still Black Planet creeping).
Aside from the divorce statistics, there are also the many dating relationships that have been fractured by the discovery of some sort of indiscretion via the internet. The typically trustworthy boyfriend who was found to be exchanging flirty messages with his ex, the seemingly loyal fiancée who got busted planning a trip to see another man while out of town on business…the habitual cheater who did the same thing he had been doing all along, now enjoying the convenience of booking women from the privacy of his cell phone…it’s unlikely that we’ll ever know just how many partnerships have been impacted by online activities.
Social media gives us the ability to connect with old flames and friends we may not have been otherwise reintroduced to; it also allows us to meet people from across the globe. Some folks go out of their way to search for people in hopes of planning hookups, while others spend hours reading blog comments, Tweets and Facebook posts and find themselves falling for the people on the other side of the computer screen. No one can rightly say that the internet is destroying relationships; social media simply gives one the opportunity to further destroy something that was already in disarray.
Restricting our partners’ activity online or attempting to monitor their social media work can provide some peace of mind; however, at the end of the day, someone who is determined to cheat or flirt is going to do just that. While the bonds formed via social media can create new temptations for even those who aren’t typically inclined to be unfaithful, ultimately, we can’t blame anything or anyone but the folks who choose to be disloyal.
What say you, Cluchettes (and Clutch gents)? How comfortable are you with your partner’s online activities? Do you follow and friend them on social media sites or do you find that you should let them have some internet privacy?