Ah, Facebook. The social networking site that's fast becoming not just a thorn in our backsides, but the bane of our existences. If Facebook isn't selling your private information to companies these days, then it's breaking up happy marriages. What was once a tool for sharing party pics and finding long-lost friends is now the reason behind many divorces — and we're not even going to mention its part in the online stalking of ex-boyfriends, or even current ones for that matter.
A U.K. divorce site found that in Dec. 2009, 20% of "behavior petitions" (which is British lingo for "reasons to file for divorce") contained the word "Facebook" in them, meaning that the site was in some way to blame for the marriage's dissolution. In Dec. 2011, that percentage jumped to 33%.
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Not surprisingly, the number-one reason why Facebook was at fault in these cases was due to "inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex." It seems that people have yet to learn to make sexual and flirty comments through personal email as opposed to a Facebook wall for all the world (and significant others) to see.
In cases where the couples had separated, but had yet to divorce, the once happily married folks were turning to Facebook to post nasty comments about each other. Well, if you can't shout how much you hate somebody from the rooftops, you might as well post it on their wall.
The third reason for Facebook being mentioned in these behavior petitions was because of Facebook friends, or rather "friends," who took it upon themselves to rat out spouses who may have been getting a little too friendly on the social media site. You know, because if you're married to Bobby and he's friends with Sally, but you're not friends with Sally, but you're all friends with Lily, then Lily is going to be privy to posts and statuses that you are not — that's why Lily is going to fill you in. Lily is a nice a friend.
Of the 5,000 petitions, only 20 cited Twitter as a reason for marital bliss disaster.
One can't help but wonder exactly what the IQ might be of someone who is either publicly cheating or publicly disparaging their significant other. Neither choice is very sane or discreet, and in the end, the partner using Facebook as if it were a weapon or a meat market is the one who looks like a jackass. But common sense can't be everyone's strong suit.
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Me? I stay away from Facebook entirely these days. Check out my recent piece for The Gloss: I'm 4 Months Facebook-Free (And Counting)
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