There have been debates about the way that technology and digital media affect personal relationships since the dawn of social media, but a recent study conducted by a U.K. law firm found that it plays more of a role in divorces that people probably think.
According to technology-centered publication Digital Trends, the law firm of Slater and Gordon conducted a study of 2,000 Britons to collect data about their thoughts, habits, and behaviors on social media as it relates to their marriages.
The overall conclusion of the survey is that yes, social media does have a negative effect on some marriages. One in seven married people said that they would consider a divorce based on what their spouse was doing on social media sites.
Furthermore, 17% of respondents said that they fought with their spouse about social media daily, and another 25% said they argue about it on a weekly basis.
Divorce lawyers in the U.S. also say that social media has played a role in American divorces. According to a 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of divorce lawyers say that social media evidence has figured more prominently in divorce cases since 2005.
In one case, as CBS reports, one woman’s obsession with Facebook cost her her marriage.
The woman, named Shari, had a happy marriage and two kids before discovering Facebook about five or six years ago. She spent hours each day on the social media site, trying to grow an event planning business. She then started uploading pictures of herself, conversing with ex-boyfriends, and soon had over 5,000 Facebook friends. Her marriage ended in divorce.
“Believe it or not, I went almost a whole two weeks without really looking at it or posting anything,” Shari told CBS. “I kept pulling my hair and biting my nails.”