After a long day at work, the first stop for millions of people is their Facebook account, a veritable online retreat where they can take time out to share their thoughts, check in with friends or even post items of interest.
Interestingly enough, a growing body of research suggests that this reliance on Facebook may be partly responsible for driving up the divorce rate.
To illustrate, consider a recently published study by a group of Chilean researchers who cross-referenced information on the number of Facebook accounts opened in 43 states from 2008 to 2010 with information from the federal government on divorce rates in those same 43 states during the timeframe in question.
They determined that a 2.2 percent annual increase in a state's divorce rate from 2008 to 2010 could be linked with a 20 percent annual increase in the number of people in that same state who opened a Facebook account.
While the researchers, who found their results held true even when adjusted for certain socio-economic and economic factors, stopped short of blaming Facebook for more divorces, they did note that the two factors were "positively correlated."
"Although it may seem surprising that a Facebook profile, a relatively small factor compared with other drivers of human behavior, could have a significant statistical relationship with divorce rates and marital satisfaction, it nonetheless seems to be the case," reads the study.
According to experts, one of the primary reasons why Facebook has been definitely linked to divorce can likely be attributed to the fact that it enables instant and ongoing connections, particularly with former flames who might not have been so easy to reconnect with in decades past.
Another theory advanced by experts is that those spouses who use Facebook regularly and for extended periods of time may inadvertently send a message to their significant other that they have more interest in other people's lives than their own marriages, and/or that they are unwilling to work on their relationships.
It's clear that social media will continue to become more and more of a presence in our daily lives, as such spouses may want to consider touching base with one another to set expectations regarding its use or ensure that it's not becoming a problem.
If you are ready to learn more about the divorce process here in Minnesota, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and your options.
Source: The Wall Street Journal Market Watch, "Does Facebook break up marriages?" Quentin Fottrell, July 13, 2014