Ever suspect that social media was doing more harm than good, at least to social relations? If you did, now there’s a new study that seems to confirm those beliefs. According to a new survey of 2,000 married Britons, conducted by U.K. law firm Slater and Gordon, social media can be downright toxic to marriages.
One in seven married people said they would consider a divorce because of how their spouses were behaving on popular social media sites and apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Skype, What’sApp, and Twitter. The findings get more revealing as the questions dig deeper, too.
Almost one in four married folks had at least one argument with their spouses on a weekly basis that was related to social media use. Another stunning 17 percent said that they quarreled with their spouses on a daily basis about social media activity.
It’s interesting to note that the survey also revealed that 58 percent of respondents admitted they knew their spouses’ passwords, even if their spouses had no idea. That’s an indication of how far some partners will go to keep an eye on their spouses’ social media behavior.
In the United States, social media has also figured prominently in divorce-related issues. Divorce lawyers concur that social media has played a bigger role in marriage problems than ever before. In 2010, approximately 81 percent of divorce lawyers asked by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers admitted that social media evidence played an escalating role in divorce cases since 2005.
While this data is very revealing, social media isn’t negatively impacting only marriages. A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article that looked at the issue of how social media was impacting friendships. It’s conclusion? Social media also does more harm than good to friendships.
The article’s gist was twofold. First, social media encourages meaningless updates that offend people with boring, uninteresting things to say. Second, social media promotes jealousy by basically letting people show off to everyone each time something significant happens in their lives.
While the digital age means that social media isn’t going away any time soon, it may be a good idea to reevaluate how much time we spend on the medium.