By: Chris O'Shea
If you're married or even thinking about proposing to the love of your life, stay away from Facebook. That's the takeaway from some new studies, at least. In one, by a divorce firm in the United Kingdom, Facebook was cited in one third of its filings and 80 percent of divorce lawyers here in the states say that they are seeing a jump in the number of cases which specifically mention the social network. Naturally, people are screaming from the rooftops that Facebook causes divorces. But does it?
The experts are unsure why, exactly, Facebook seems to lead to the demise of marriages. Jason Krafsky, co-author of Facebook and Your Marriage, said that it is the immediacy of the site. "Affairs happen with a lightning speed on Facebook," he told SmartMoney. "On Facebook they [affairs] happen in just a few clicks. It puts temptation in the path of people who would never in a million years risk having an affair." While the site does put you in contact with people in a very close way, it seems that those people would have found another route had it not been for Facebook. If you're the kind of person who would "never in a million years" consider having an affair, logging into Facebook shouldn't suddenly change that.
Randy Kessler, an Atlanta-based lawyer thinks that the problem is that couples post incriminating things on Facebook, thus arousing the suspicions of their spouses. Facebook "feels safe, innocent and private," Kessler told SmartMoney. "While most photos are innocent, a photo of a spouse having a good time with someone other than their own spouse, is truly worth a thousand words," Kessler continued, in an email with The Wall Street Journal. "Sometimes these photos are on friends of the paramour’s Facebook account since these people often don’t realize their friend (the paramour) is dating someone who is actually married. So they innocently post photos."
Again, Facebook isn't really causing the divorce here, it's simply providing a road for someone who is already driving to steer down. If a person isn't already considering separation, how would pictures of the spouse with a lady friend become the tipping point? It wouldn't.
Facebook doesn't cause divorce anymore than a car causes an accident. It can surely facilitate it, but people are getting divorced because they're already unhappy in some other way that has nothing to do with the site. They would be cutting ties if the social network never existed because they would end up finding another reason why their marriage is finished. Facebook isn't to blame here, but it makes a good story. Perhaps one so good that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can argue about it with his new wife, Priscilla Chan. They were married on Saturday.
[Pic via Flickr - MoneyBlogNews]