Is Social Media responsible for failed Relationships/Divorces?

27 Aug

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Lately, social media and marriage have not mixed well. I have seen my friends and colleagues who are engaged often start out with confidence that their partners would ever cheat on them. But their belief is shattered the moment they realize that their better half betrayed them. Trust is long-term and an important aspect for any relationship to sustain but how long can that really last in the era of social media when there are so many tempting opportunities flowing around, that people may intentionally or unintentionally end up breaking a trust.

I would like to give an example of one of my friend who recently got married and gifted his wife an i-phone and also created a Facebook account for her as he wanted to be in contact with her whenever he was travelling. But soon he found was she was hooked to Facebook and Twitter and started getting too close (atleast online) with one of his high school friend sending too many messages, liking pictures and comments, making comments, etc. For my friend his wife was disclosing in someone of the opposite sex more than him about their marriage problems, and for him his private boundaries were eroding. The moment he realized that his wife has accepted a friend request from an ex and there was incriminating information on her wall it became unbearable for him and he exploded in anger and frustration eventually breaking his marriage because of suspicion and jealousy.

I believe that “Cheating” on your partner does not have to include sex.  Though, online affairs engage secret contact and sexual intimacy with texting, chats and pictures. Sometimes, those affairs can be worse than a one-night stand. I hear similar stories related to social media and relationships so commonly at my workplace and from friends that it began to feel like there was a CD player hitting repeat. It turns out that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter do bring people together but can also drive break a relationship.

Social Media has provided people so many opportunities to connect with others privately by sending a small message or an email. You can be with your better half and message your crush, ex, boyfriend, etc. immediately about your whereabouts. Was this possible 20 years ago? Absolutely NOT!!! Even if you liked someone, people waited for appropriate time to connect with other just to say “Hi” or to ask out for a coffee. People never called up late night to unknown people thinking about the appropriateness. But social media has almost eliminated that gap. Today, if you want to connect with your colleagues wife, friends sister, or anyone, you just do it – send an add request with a short message at 3am and get connected instantly and that too “PRIVATE

In the past, it was much easier to keep secrets from a significant other but now people have got comfortable to a little less privacy. Social media makes it easier for some with no intention of starting an affair to unknowingly cross a line. Often this leads to a physical affair but even without that, some marriages are damaged. Couples lose trust in each other and in the example that I gave of my friend every time his new girlfriend texts someone else, he cannot help but feel suspicious.

Couples can keep their marriage intact and use social media, but for the right reasons. Have fun, connect with people and share pictures with family and friends. Keeping an open-door policy for your social media accounts will instill trust and create transparency. I truly believe that Social media is not the cause of divorce or failed relationships but crossing boundaries is causing relations to break.

Related Videos:

Divorce Attorney Nancy Rommelmann: Is facebook Ruining Marriages?

Houston Divorce Lawyer: Social Media Affecting More Divorces

Facebook And Divorce

Facebook Blamed for 1 in 5 Divorces in U.S.

References:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/15/social-media-causing-tension-jealousy-in-relationships/

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Social-media-may-hurt-a-marriage-1429536.php

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130897679

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/facebook-relationship-status/story?id=16406245#.UDv2jMFlT8E

http://fbmarriage.blogspot.com/2011/03/article-in-irish-independent.html

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11 Responses to “Is Social Media responsible for failed Relationships/Divorces?”

  1. anuj September 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Vijay,
    Everything in your post is absolutely true in regards social media and cheating. I do believe that 3 in 4 relationship have this problem, and i can state this based my personal experience and my friends. My social media starts controlling and taking over your life, at time person should realize the problem and try and detach themselves from it. Cheating doesnt always have to be physical, because with this advance social media world there is thing call virtual cheating. Constant contact with person of the opposite sex without the knowledge of our partner is consider cheating in my book. Physically there is no harm done here but mentally its damaging to any relationship. Now a day with social media being a big influence on people’s life, i believe that when two people are committing to a relationship need to disclose all activities on social media so that there are no surprises in the future.

  2. afshankhatoon September 9, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    We cannot leave a new life partner or a potential one in whom we are yet to instill trust and faith with a Facebook account on their own if he/she is unaware of how to use social networking sites. It is very easy for such people to get entangled into wrong things on these sites unknowingly and unintentionally which would in turn cause suspicion to rise in the hearts and minds of others.

  3. Lisa K. August 31, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Vijay, I think your example highlights the fact that these are new tools and we are all figuring out how to use them…and not let them use us!

    • psyclife September 1, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Yes Lisa, that’s what I wanted to convey.

  4. Pedro Martínez August 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Cheating on online profiles is not something new and a big percentage of people do it. Social media open our eyes to different worlds good and bad. There are huge benefit and also negatives about social media. Me as own person have the option to choose what benefits or negatives get out of social media.

    • Chris August 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

      I agree with Sadia, there’s also an old saying “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. Therefore, social media is a way and if people don’t respect their relationships enough, then they will be a perpretator in it’s demise!

  5. Sonia August 28, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Great!! It is the topic worth discussing.

  6. Kushant August 28, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    That’s a nice article and I completely agree with you. People need to use social media wisely and not just get carried away. I know people having fights over, how many likes they have over their pictures or comments. Keep posting the articles. I love reading them.

  7. psyclife August 28, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    In this post I just made an attempt to educate readers about how social networking sites can make or break relationships. I also gave a true example of my friends personal life and how social networking did not work for him to sustain his relationship. I supported my ideas and opinions by providing links to few videos posted on you tube and opinions of lawyers, media, researchers and common men.

    Inclusion of video helps the readers to better grasp the idea of what is being conveyed. I had done similar campaign but for tobacco awareness, few years back to promote the message for one of the NGO I worked for i.e. “Students Working Against Tobacco”.

    Also,the following campaign for Eye Donation was very successful in India leading to tremendous increase in the eye donations per year. If it was not supported by video the response may not have been that great. I believe that video awareness makes an immediate impact on our senses compared to what print or audio media does.

    Link: http://youtu.be/CeCXGhszIVQ

    • sadiapiprawala August 28, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      I think people will cheat on their partners if they are not happy in their relationship and other options are available to them. Facebook, being a social media is easily available to a wide spectrum of people (except for those who live in countries where Facebook is banned). I believe this ease of available people to connect with has given people in relationships more options. If a woman is happy in her relationship, she would not spend time searching for another companion. She would be satisified with her companion and would not even entertain what some would label as “harmless flirting” with others.
      If a woman is unhappy in her relationship, and a person from Facebook flirts with her, because she craves that attention, she will continue to entertain the flirting. Each time she goes online, she’ll begin to look to see if that person is online. She’ll find herself going online more often. This is how cheating starts. Before she recognizes what is happening, she is cheating (emotionally and perhaps even physically) with this person.
      Facebook is one of the most popular social medias. This popularity has led to almost everyone having a Facebook page. When a friend of the person being cheated on sees that the woman is constantly sending and receiving messages from a particular person, suspicion grows. Being a good friend, he might mention it to the guy being cheated on. The guy will eventually confront his girlfriend. If she tries to deny it, Facebook can be used as proof.
      I agree with the videos that Facebook has made it easier for people to cheat and to break up relationships and marriages. However, I don’t think it’s Facebook’s fault. A person in a happy relationship would not cheat even if 1,000,000 options were available to her.
      One of the videos made a point of saying that Facebook is highly publicized and the person being cheated on is very embarassed that his friends are also aware of his girlfriend’s cheating. I think this embarassment has a lot to do with the broken relationships and divorces. In the old days ( from stories I heard), men cheated on their wives and they would remain married. It could be because women didn’t initially have jobs that could support themselves or their families. It could also be because people truly believed in “for better or for worse”. The true reason has died with that generation.
      I believe in an honest relationship where the couples allow transparency of information and are honest about any problems that they think exist in the relationship. Being honest about these problems would allow the couple to work on addressing the problem and finding a solution.

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