One new book by a divorce attorney is taking social media to task, alleging that online social activity — especially emotional affairs and other forms of intimate contact initiated online — is leading to more and more divorces.
According to the book, here are some reasons that social media can be so toxic to marriages:
1. Everybody shows a filtered version of reality online.
As the attorney puts it, social media profiles and posts are “curated.” People carefully select what parts of their lives they want other people to see. Other people sometimes buy into what they see and start to believe that everyone else has a much more interesting life or happier marriage than they have. That creates unrealistic expectations that their “uncurated” marriage can’t meet.
2. People contact other people online that they shouldn’t.
People stay in touch with ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends online when they shouldn’t, leaving the door open to rekindled romances. They sometimes engage in long conversations every day with a few people and don’t realize the depths of the emotional attachments they are creating. Often, finding validation and companionship online is easier than trying to craft it with a spouse — especially when things get a little rocky.
3. People invest in the hype of romance, not the reality of marriage.
Marriage can be difficult at times — no matter how good the relationship. Unfortunately, social media can reinforce the idea that every relationship should be picture-perfect all the time. Real life, however, isn’t much like a Disney film. Social media gives people way too much opportunity for romantic escapism.
If social media activity led to your divorce, you aren’t alone. Maybe you can use this information to establish some social media boundaries within future relationships. For now, however, you may want to seek out the advice of an experienced attorney to help you through the divorce process as you move toward life as a single person again.