Do statistics show that Facebook and divorce are connected?

The short answer is “yes.” There have been numerous studies in which researchers have found a connection between Facebook and divorce, but what the connection is, researchers can only speculate. The general belief, however, is that increased use of Facebook increases the chance of divorce.

Though somewhat related, there is also considerable research about the way in which Facebook and social media influence other aspects of the divorce process. Many people within the family law field would recommend that anyone going through a divorce be very careful with what they post, what they “like” and what other people tag them in, as this digital evidence could negatively impact child custody, child support, property division and other family law agreements.

Researchers with the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey have said that while there appears to be a correlation between divorce and Facebook use, there is nothing that clearly says Facebook causes divorce. It is possible, says the lead researcher, that divorce may be increasing Facebook use.

What is known, however, is that when individuals are paying more attention to Facebook or social media than their spouses, it could lead to marital discord. After all, it could very easily indicate that an individual is more interested in social media than in his or her spouse.

With an increasing use of social media comes a host of problems that never existed years ago. In some situations, social media may be doing more to exacerbate issues than ever before, such as divorce. Yet whether there will ever be studies that definitively show a causal effect between Facebook use and divorce remains to be seen.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Does Facebook break up marriages?” Quentin Fottrell, July 13, 2014