Divorce in the Digital Age: How Social Media Can Negatively Affect Relationships

The soaring popularity of social media has changed the way people connect to each other, the way they interact, and even the way they break up. Pew Research reports that as of January 2014, 74 percent of adults use social media with Facebook being the most frequented site. Matters are not kept as private as before the digital age and insight into a person’s relationship can easily be revealed online. There are people who mistakenly believe group forums or online chat are private or anonymous and may say things that can be used against them later in court during divorce proceedings.

The digital age has affected relationships and have, at times, led to divorce. Some believe that social media has created a path towards divorce through the ease of secretly connecting with someone online. CBS Pittsburgh published an article that pointed to people rekindling old relationships or discussing their relationship issues online, two factors which can lead to extramarital affairs and deeper problems between partners.

Research has shown social media as causing relationship distress, but it does not mean that everyone on social media will be subject to breakups. The study finds that people who use Facebook excessively or who monitor their partner’s online activity are more inclined to face relationship turmoil.

Divorced couples now are struggling with keeping their personal problems offline and destroying evidence of a failed relationship through pictures, status updates, and comments archived online. A columnist for The New York Times navigates just how differently breaking up is in the digital era of everything being out in the open. Changing a relationship status online and poring through uploaded pictures to delete them one by one can be a devastating part of divorce.

Social media may have changed how easily information is accessed online, but the basis of divorce lies solely within the two people making the decision. When online activity is a factor in a separation, it is best to share all information with your attorney. If you seek legal counsel for divorce proceedings in Illinois, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to review your case. We are here to help you navigate through the process.