A few years ago, survey results claiming Facebook was the cause of one-third of divorces had the internet buzzing. And between the Ashley Madison hack scandal; the launch of Instagram direct messaging; the rise of Snapchat; and Tinder’s explosive growth, there are now even more digital avenues to facilitate infidelity.
So does social media encourage cheating or does it simply provide people who would cheat regardless with an easier way to stray?
“Does Facebook cause marital infidelity? Recently saw an article saying about 66% of divorces cite some kind of evidence of social media involvement as part of the divorce case.”
readers weighed in on the topic, sharing their own experiences involving social media and infidelity as well as highlighting the different sides of this ever-relevant debate. Read the answers below and join the conversation.
“It’s like people and guns: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns are just an instrument. Spoons and forks don’t make you fat. Putting them full of food into your mouth does. People cause marriage break ups, not social media sites.”
“I don’t think the problem is with Twitter. Or Facebook. Or the Internet. Really I don’t. I certainly can see that when people are frustrated in their marriages, disconnected, certain critical needs are not being met, they will turn to other outlets to get those needs met — Twitter or Facebook might be one of them for some people. It’s the symptom, however, of a problem within the marriage and/or the person, not the cause of it.”
“I actually had a guy I dated 20 years ago track me down….. Started off nice enough, but got inappropriate pretty quick.. Apparently he started his search via Linkedin… So it does not have to be Facebook, but all those social media sites present an avenue to reconnect (perhaps inappropriately) that did not exist in the past. I mean I hardly see the guy contacting me if all he had to go to the library and search random phonebooks…”
“My ex-husband’s affair started via FB, back when it was first getting really popular. That is, it encouraged the idea of searching for a woman he’d known back in high school, which lead to the affair.”
“FB didn’t cause the affair and subsequent divorce, but it was impetus for “searching,” since that is what everyone does, search for past relationships. He may have gone searching, anyway. But FB made it super easy for him.”
“I don’t know whether Facebook *causes* marital infidelity, it’s just one of the newer means for infidelity. I’m not at all surprised that evidence from Facebook is cited in divorces. Written proof is key in court. It used to be love letters, now it’s private messages. I wonder what the rate of text messages being used in court is.”
“I figured out that my (future) husband was still seeing his “just-a-friend” ex because of her scrawlings on his wall. I am sure that there are a lot of predators out there who like marking their territory in cyberspace.”
“Not a cause but just another form. It’s easy to start as “friends.” Not hiding because everyone can see, but then the private messages begin gradually and, boom, affair.”