Connecting with others through social media platforms may make connections with one’s spouse or significant other seem less important. Such online communications with others may make marital communication feel less gratifying or necessary. Alternatively, people may want to reach out socially with their online community if they feel trapped in a relationship that makes them miserable. Either way, as social networking becomes more prevalent, it raises questions regarding how it may relate to the destruction of romantic relationships, and even divorce.
Marital Problems Due to Social Media Use
A recent study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking linked heavy social media use to marital and relationship problems. According to research performed by a University of Missouri doctoral student, Twitter use can be damaging to the user’s romantic relationships.
The researcher, a School of Journalism student, Russell Clayton, polled over 500 Twitter users of various ages asking them questions about their use of the site. Mr. Clayton then asked survey participants how much, if any, conflict arose between the participants’ past and former romantic partners regarding the use of Twitter. The researcher found that “the more often a respondent reported being active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner, which then significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce.”
This study’s results were similar to findings in a previous study that compared Facebook use and amount of Facebook-related relationship conflict. This earlier study found that heavy Facebook use correlated with increased Facebook related-conflict, which in turn correlated with negative relationship outcomes.
The newer twitter study is significant because it suggests that Twitter use is negatively correlated with relationship health, regardless of how long couples were in a relationship. “Although a number of variables can contribute to relationship infidelity and separation, social networking site usage, such as Twitter and Facebook use, can be damaging to relationships,” Clayton said. To mitigate the possible negative effects of social network use, Mr. Clayton noted that some couples share joint social networking accounts to reduce relationship tension, and other couples use other social networking programs specifically designed to facilitate communication between relationship partners.
Seeking Legal Help for Marital Problems
It is unclear whether the full text of the study goes on to examine how much fighting over social networking behavior is likely to lead to a relationship or a marriage’s demise. Regardless, the decision to end a relationship is a complex one, which is usually motivated by several types of disagreements and incompatibilities. For Illinois residents who are contemplating the initiation of divorce proceedings or termination of a long-term relationship, it is helpful to speak with a knowledgeable Naperville divorce and family law attorney about the sorts of issues to expect. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. we are experienced in counseling our clients through divorce. We understand the emotional costs of going through divorce and make it a priority to ensure the proceedings go as smoothly and effectively as possible. To learn more about our divorce planning services, it isn’t necessary to sign into your Facebook or Twitter account. Simply contact us online or call us at (877) 889-4515.