Patricia L. Brown & Associates
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Using Social Media? Be Careful of Divorce.

I caution all my social media using clients investigating or seeking divorce to be extraordinarily careful about how they use social media. Interestingly, based on the study referenced below, it appears that those using social networks like Facebook, are far more likely to end up leaving their spouses in the first place. In any case, married people would be wise to confine to constrain their social media activities, if any, to only the most benign, G-rated, family-oriented content. If unsure about do's and don'ts, speak with an attorney.

According to a Boston University study, men and women who use social media are twice as likely to think about leaving their spouses. The national study, titled "Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce." Using data from 1,160 married couples polled by the University of Texas at Austin, researchers also concluded that heavy social media users were more likely to think about divorce than those without accounts (32 percent versus 16 percent). Nonusers in Texas reported being more than 11 percent happier with their marriage than heavy social media users.

The study explored the relationship between the use of social networks sites, marriage satisfaction and divorce rates using survey data of married individuals and state-level data. Results show that using social networks is negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce. Further, the findings of this individual-level analysis are consistent with a state-level analysis of the most popular social networks to date: across the U.S., the diffusion of Facebook between 2008 and 2010 is correlated with increasing divorce rates during the same time period.

To summarize, social media may not be healthy for your marriage.

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