A recent study has found that heavy use of social networking sites—like Facebook—is “a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles” in the United States. “The apparent association between the use of Facebook and other social networking sites and divorce and marital unhappiness in the United States raises troubling questions not only about how we use these tools, but how their use affects marriage.”
The research indicated that, on a state-by-state basis, a 20% increase in Facebook use yielded a 2.18% increase the divorce rate. These findings agreed with another study, in which couples were individually asked how happy they were in the relationship, whether their parents were divorced, and whether extramarital sex existed in the relationship. This second study concluded that individuals who did not use social networks reported being 11.4% happier with their marriage than heavy social media users.
While neither study suggests a causal relationship between the use of social networking sites and marriage unhappiness or divorce, both studies found a correlation between the two.
Riley Combelic is a third-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to firstname.lastname@example.org.