In the past, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has helped lovers find their soul mates. In fact, it gives users a platform to find love and happiness. But it could be equally dangerous for your marriage. When Facebook isn’t busy manipulating your emotions, it could slowly be ruining your relationships, according to a new study.
A direct correlation between Facebook use and divorce
According to a study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, there is a direct correlation between the use of Facebook and divorce. Researchers found that there has been a rise in divorce rates in the same period Facebook use increased, even when adjusting for socio-demographic and economic factors that might affect divorce rates.
The study concluded that the social networking platform may seem a small factor compared to other drivers of human behavior. But there is a statistical relationship between Facebook use and divorce rates. Researchers showed that a 20% YoY rise in the share of a state’s total population with a Facebook account between 2008 and 2010 was linked to 2.2% jump in divorce rates in that state. Scientists cross-referenced Facebook use and divorce rates in 43 U.S. states to reach that conclusion. Anyway, the study shows a correlation rather than causation.
Other studies show a similar link between Facebook and marital problems
Past studies have also demonstrated similar relations between social networking and marital issues. In 2011, the University of Texas conducted a survey of 1,600 married people between 18-39 years of age. Adjusting for other variables, 32% of social media users told the University that they have seriously thought about leaving their spouses. In contrast, only 16% people who don’t use Facebook had a similar feeling.
In 2011, British legal services website Divorce Online found that 33% of divorce filings in the country contained the word Facebook. Divorce financial consultant Jeff Landers told MarketWatch that extramarital affairs would take months or years to develop. But with social networking, you can connect with your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend with just one click. When marriages hit the rocky patches, people seek support. Sometimes they connect with an old boyfriend or girlfriend online. It all begins innocently, but before you realize, you are meeting for coffee. And soon you may have an affair.
Facebook shares fell 2.96% to $63.36 at 10:39 AM EDT, probably not due to the findings of this study.