Social Media and Marriage – Help or Hinder?

As anyone who spends time on the internet on a regular basis these days knows, social media is up there in terms of importance and impact on our daily lives. But at what point does it become too much? For those of us in relationships or married, is there a correlation between social media and divorce? Or are we simply looking for a way to blame someone or something other than ourselves when the relationship goes sour?

I recently saw some asked a question indicating that Facebook or social media shouldn’t be invented as they seems to be root cause of increasing divorce rate.

My response was that it has nothing to do with social media and a bad marriage is a bad marriage, plain and simple. But the other replies got me thinking.

As I said in my response, I think it’s a load of hooey. In a relationship where healthy boundaries, trust, and communication are a daily part of a couple’s lives I cannot understand how or why social media can or should be considered a reason for why couples ultimately end up reaching for the online Yellow Pages to consult a divorce attorney.

Social media by and large is a tool. For those of us who blog regularly or rely on social media in some form or another it’s a way of life. It helps us connect with old friends and reach out to make new friends. It helps us grow our businesses and/or blogs. When used appropriately and for the right reasons I firmly believe social media is a benefit for its users, not a hindrance.

But what about those who do race to the courthouse to fill out a divorce petition and cite social media as the cause of their divorce? Was social media really the problem, the real cause or was it merely a symptom in an already destructive marriage?

Are those involved simply insecure or lacking in strong enough communication skills to effectively discuss social media with their partners? Or worse: Were they simply inconsiderate of their partner’s feelings and went behind their backs? So many ideas to speculate and all of them can be a factor in their downfall based on each couple.

According to the Columbus Divorce Blog, some marriages are driven to failure because one partner feels neglected by the frequent usage of social media and even suspicion something more sinister is lurking in those tweets, status updates, and messages. Less sinister reasons cite the need to compete for attention with our technological devices. An argument yours truly finds valid even in her own marriage. Sometimes; admittedly, I get my nose stuck so far into social media and blogging I forget there is a loving husband waiting for my affection. Yes, we’re working on that and I am getting better because my marriage is important to me.

As a society that has become hellbent (or so it seems) on avoiding responsibility, social media appears to have become a scapegoat for affairs, neglect, lack of intimacy, and divorce itself. We hold zero accountability for ourselves when a relationship or marriage hits a rough patch and seem to reach out in attempt to blame anyone but ourselves for failure. Facebook and other social media sites from Twitter to LinkedIn (oddly enough) become the cause rather than the symptom.

Anyone who has been in a long term, successful relationship or marriage knows it’s hard work. It takes patience, trust, respect, understanding, kindness, awareness, and so much more. A healthy relationship that has been and is constantly nurtured not only survives, it thrives. Relationships that don’t often fail due to a lack of communication.

I read several blogs by women who are on Facebook and are bloggers with seemingly no issues with social media or their regular use. From the posts I’ve read, their marriages are strong and lasting. I’m only an outsider and could be wrong but I do see some of things they say and while it’s not always the best, it shows their marriage is thriving and they communicate often with their respective spouses.

What are your thoughts on things like these? Do think it’s possible for a healthy marriage to co-exist with today’s social media and online networking? Who or what do you think is to blame for divorces?

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