Of all the potential reasons not to like Facebook: divorce. That's one you may not have heard before.
The omnipresent website is at least partially responsible for 1 out of every 5 divorces in the U.S., and 81 percent of the country's divorce attorneys have seen an increase in divorce cases using the social networking evidence.
The former study was conducted by Loyola University Health System and the latter by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In addition, Facebook was the No. 1 source for online divorce evidence at 66%.
This sort of Facebook divorce "evidence has gone from nothing to a large percentage of my cases coming in," Linda Lea Vicken, a South Dakota divorce attorney, told the Associated Press. MySpace came in second at 14% and Twitter with 5%.
People don't tweet into affairs as much as they Facebook into them. That makes sense. Facebook and divorce are more aligned as the site has more pictures, profile information, and offers live chat.
Still, it isn't entirely fair to put the blame on social media, as the marriages were likely to fail with or without the service, notes ZDnet.com writer Emil Protalinski. There is no question, however, that social media, especially Facebook, offers increased opportunities to accelerate the events leading up to a divorce.
"One spouse connects online with someone they knew from high school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook. Within a short amount of time, [it] can lead to a deepened sense of intimacy, which in turn can point the couple in the direction of physical contact. I don't think these people typically set out to have affairs. A lot of it is curiosity," is how Steven Kimmons, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Loyola University Medical Center explained the Facebook divorce effect to ZDnet.
- Facebook Divorce: Site Listed as Reason For 20 Percent of Divorces (FindLaw's Phoenix Family Law Blog)
- Facebook is divorce lawyers' new best friend (AP)
- Tweeting or Facebooking Divorce: Beware the Private Info You Broadcast (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Hire a Divorce Lawyer (FindLaw.com)