Facebook, You And Your Relationship: It's Complicated!
I am willing to bet that a fair few members of the online social media world, have used Facebook to snoop into ex partners lives since splitting up. Whether it be simply searching for them briefly or an evening crying into a glass of wine as you pick over the photos of them with their new beau, or stalking their Twitter feeds for any mention of moving on, it's something that is common place in the social networking world. And this is where the troubles begin. It's when your using these platforms to interact or keep tabs on love interests, outside of an already established relationship, that they can actually fracture and ruin lives.
America seems to be the nation most on the receiving end of this problem,
American divorce lawyers and academics have joined Middle East analysts in picking out Facebook as a leading cause of relationship trouble, with American lawyers now demanding to see their clients' Facebook pages as a matter of course before the start of proceedings. -Courtesy of Guardian News Online.
It's one thing to go out into a city on a Friday night and be jealous of wandering eyes and flirtatious behaviour, but to have potential cheating and online affiars take place under your own roof in the comfort of your own home, is something that seems to be an ever more common event. Now, regardless of whether you consider online flirting and explicit, cheeky messages cheating personally, it does upset many who do consider it just as hurtful and immoral as physical cheating. In fact, online romances could even lead to physical cheating.
The question is, should Facebook, or other networks, really be used in court to fight legal battles of feuding couples? Sure, anyone could have a photo taken depicting them in a some what discriminating situation, but to use them in legal battles may not be appropriate use of a 'social' media tool. Being social and being seen to be social on or via these sites is, in actual fact, the point of them for the every day users outside of business and marketing.
Man or Machine?
It's also important to remember that it's not Facebook or Twitter that makes a person cheat. Technology and the Internet does not plant subconscious or even obvious hints that cheating is fine and acceptable. If someone cheats, that's their prerogative only. Arguably, Facebook does make it easier to a degree, to partake in such affairs, but it is not to be blamed for an individuals personal choice. This is an idea that Facebook itself is keen to promote:
It's ridiculous to suggest that Facebook leads to divorce. Whether you're breaking up or just getting together, Facebook is just a way to communicate, like letters, phone calls and emails. Facebook doesn't cause divorces, people do."-Facebook spokesperson, courtesy of Guardian online.
The moral of this story, is to be aware that social media can land you in hot water with your partner, or even in a courtroom if you are desperately unlucky! However, it is not the reason that marriages end, human nature and choice is far more to blame.
Who Wrote This Article
I'm Nikki and work at MarketMeSuite, the social media marketing dashboard. And big news... we're now free! Please check it out and be sure to let me know what you think.
First published for http://wearesocialpeople.com/ where MarketMeSuite users can post blogs for the world!
-Articles mentioned in this post: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/08/facebook-us-divorces
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfsoul