Have you ever sat next to your partner at home or in a restaurant, and they are just not present. The reason being is because they are constantly on their phones. Perhaps they are checking their Facebook updates, scrolling through Instagram, or chatting to people on Whatsapp. Millennials especially are at risk for social media addiction, and yes, it is really an addiction. If you feel that your marriage is in danger because of social media addiction, it would be a good idea to keep on reading to see what studies have shown, regarding social media addiction and divorce.
According to a new study done by the University of Missouri, excessive Facebook use can damage relationships. The studies bring out that by constantly using social media, you could be at risk of emotional and physical cheating. And cheating is extremely damaging to any marriage. It is the worst kind of betrayal.
Another problem with social media is that partners in romantic relationships, also monitor their spouses accounts more closely, which could lead to jealousy. Couples could end up fighting about previous partners, which people usually end up following on social media. The study brings out that by cutting back on social media usage could help prevent conflicts in relationships.
Other studies have linked decreased marital satisfaction when their spouses are misusing social media. The study also noticed that with a 20% increase in Facebook users, there was a 4% increase in divorce. This study also showed that couples who not use social media are 11% happier in their marriages, that people who regularly use social media.
There are a number of reasons why social media can lead to divorce in marriage:
- Spouses are caught snooping through their partner’s social media pages, which breeds mistrust and jealousy.
- People can send private messages to old flames, ex’s and work colleagues, which could lead to infidelity.
- Spouses may unfriend or unfollow a spouse’s account, which could lead to greater arguments
- Social media addiction distances couples, as they are unable to connect emotionally. When a spouse is on social media constantly speaking to other people, you have less time for your spouse in the real world.
- People use social media to vent their feelings. This can cause greater arguments at home because instead of speaking to your spouse about how you feel, you are venting to others about their behavior.
In simple terms, an addiction to social media can cause, infidelity, jealousy, distance, and insecurity. All of these are toxic to marriages, which can lead to divorce.
One of the main problems with social media addiction is that you are giving someone behind a screen more time and energy than you are to your spouse in real-time. How can you develop meaningful relationships, if you are not putting time and energy into your marriage? You might even be ignoring your spouse while out on a date because you’re too busy trying to post a photo on social media. You might not even realize that you’re doing this.
The worst thing that can happen from social media addiction, is cheating on one’s spouse. It is so easy to hide messages that you sent to an old flame or a work colleague. Perhaps these messages start off innocent, but as you get more familiar, you could start mentioning things that make you unhappy with your spouse. You could start flirting, and next things next, you are either emotionally attached or even physically attached to someone else. You could fall in love with what someone seems like on a screen. People only post what they want others to see.
Their lives might seem incredible, or like they have it all together, but this is not the entire truth. Affairs via social media might also seem exciting. The worst part is that, when your spouse catches you cheating, the hurt that they feel will be unbearable. With this digital age, your spouse can snoop and find out almost everything about your affair. They might find intimate messages and sexualized photos. In the past, a wife might have found a receipt in a husband’s pocket or lipstick on his collar, but now she could find out everything. This breaks a person’s self-esteem like never before. You can only imagine the devastation.
Even if you’re not planning on having an affair, ignoring your spouse for your social media pages can cause squabbles. It makes your spouse feel undervalued. Social media addiction is a real problem. It works in the same way that drugs such as cocaine affect the brain. In MRI scans, when a person gets a “like” or “follow” their brain lights up in the same way that it does when someone takes drugs. This rewires the brain. In the same way that drug abuse affects a family, social media addiction can have similar effects. People who have social media addiction, don’t want to delete their accounts. They might check their accounts every few minutes, or wake up during the night to see if they have any new “likes” or followers”.
According to Complete Case, If social media addiction isn’t corrected in a family, then it can lead to divorce between couples.
Here are some signs of social media addiction:
- You feel anxious when you can not access social media accounts
- You check your social media accounts when you wake up, or before going to bed.
- You immediately check your account when you get a notification.
- You monitor your account for likes and followers.
- Social media is affecting your work or relationships.
- Your spouse, friends, and family say you seem distant.
If you think your spouse might have a problem with social media addiction, then seeing a counselor can help. Social media addiction is actually quite easy to handle. You could do this by going through a social media detox for some time. Maybe set aside time each evening where you do not use your phones. Even if it’s for a few hours to just reconnect after the day.
As you can see, social media addiction can be a real problem for married couples. Not only can it distance you, but it can even bring about affairs. Studies have shown how couples who use social media excessively are unhappy in their marriages. If you would like to save your marriage, then going through a social media detox would be the best thing for you and your spouse.