Study Finds Link Between Social Media Use, Divorce Rates in US

A 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior by a team of researchers from Boston University and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile found a correlation between divorce rates in the United States and social media use.

In the study, researchers compared divorce rates in individual states to Facebook accounts per capita. The researchers also took data from a survey conducted in 2011 and 2012 that asked individuals about their social media usage levels and the quality of their marriage.

The study determined that there was a link in social media use and the decreased quality of marriage in every analyzed model. Researchers say that although the study does not prove social media is a cause of troubled marriages, they believe their findings suggest there is at least some correlation that could be examined in more detail through further studies.

Could social media lead to an unhappy marriage?

Individual survey results that the research team analyzed predict a person who does not use any type of social media is more than 11 percent happier on average in his or her marriage than people who describe their social media usage as “heavy.” Additionally, a 20 percent annual increase in enrollment of Facebook users corresponded with between a 2.18 percent and 4.32 percent increase in the number of divorces.

Researchers believe that the addictive qualities of social media could have a role in creating strife in a marriage, as it increases opportunities for jealousy to arise and could be used as a conduit for extramarital affairs.

Social media users are strongly encouraged to be mindful of their online activity during a divorce. To learn more, speak with an experienced Minneapolis family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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