As if the institution of marriage didn’t face enough challenges already, it is now reported that one in five divorces involve Facebook, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
The social networking site, famous for allowing people to keep in touch with old friends, is becoming increasingly infamous for its ability to help old flames rekindle affections felt in the past.
“There is nothing more seductive that the ‘one that got away’ fantasy that’s always better than someone who is up to her eyeballs in bills,” Marriage Counselor Terry Real told ABC News.
Spouses stuck in stagnant situations are certainly more likely to have wandering eyes; and Facebook opens a new portal to those who may not have other outlets to meet new people. The fastest-rising demographic in social media is users 50 and over; age groups that are much more likely to be married. This perfect storm of cyber temptation and matrimonial boredom is undoubtedly a major cause in this statistical spike.
Currently, 80 percent of divorce lawyers have cited cases where social media has been used as evidence for cheating, according to the same poll.
At 66 percent, Facebook was the most-often cited by lawyers as the primary source of evidence of infidelity. Despite Twitter’s rise in popularity, it only showed 5 percent of lawyer citations, while the aging MySpace came in with 15 percent. Other social media sites together represented 14 percent.
The times are surely changing. Cheating used to mean bar pick-ups and shady hotel rooms, and then it was secretive late-night phone calls. The Internet brought chatrooms, Craigslist, and Match.com. Now, with Facebook’s universal adoption, especially among the already-married set, spouses are able to find old flames they thought were extinguished by time and distance, and reconnect.