150 million Americans are on Facebook. And in America, Facebook is involved in one out of every five divorces. The article below is astounding.
The Marriage Killer: One in Five American Divorces Now Involve Facebook
by David Gardner
for The Daily Mail
It used to be the tell-tale lipstick on the collar. Then there were the give-away texts that spelled the death knell for many marriages.
But now one in five divorces involve the social networking site Facebook, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
A staggering 80 per cent of divorce lawyers have also reported a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence of cheating.
Flirty messages and photographs found on Facebook are increasingly being cited as proof of unreasonable behaviour or irreconcilable differences.
Many cases revolve around social media users who get back in touch with old flames they hadn’t heard from in many years.
Facebook was by far the biggest offender, with 66 per cent of lawyers citing it as the primary source of evidence in a divorce case. MySpace followed with 15 per cent, Twitter at 5 per cent and other choices lumped together at 14 per cent.
The survey reflects the findings of a UK law firm last year showing that 20 per cent of its divorce petitions blamed Facebook flings.
‘The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to,’ said Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online.
Friends Reunited faced similar claims when it was launched to help people reconnect with old classmates, but the 23 million plus people now using Facebook in Britain means it is having a much bigger effect on rising divorce rates.
‘Desperate Housewives’ star Eva Longoria recently split from her basketball player husband Tony Parker after alleging that he strayed with a woman he kept in touch with on Facebook.
An American minister also made the headlines recently when he called Facebook a ‘portal to infidelity’ and insisted that his congregation delete their accounts after revealing that 20 couples attending his New Jersey church had been led astray through the site.
Rev. Cedric Millier, who runs the Living World Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, New Jersey, said Facebook enabled spouses to reconnect with former lovers, leading to rows and bitterness.
But Rev. Miller was forced to take a leave of absence after his own non-Facebook transgressions were revealed.
‘Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny. If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence,’ said American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers President Marlene Eskind Moses.
‘As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations,’ she added.
Marriage counsellor Terry Real said he believes some users go on Facebook to create a fantasy life and escape the drudgery.
‘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,’ he told ABC News in the U.S..
But he said Facebook is not really to blame.
‘Before it was email, then before that it was the phone. The problem is not Facebook, it is the loss of love in your marriage,’ he said.