Social media is everywhere in today’s society. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat — these are just a few of the myriad social media platforms out there in this internet-driven age. But where does social media fit in with divorce and marriage? A recent study went searching for the answer and found that, specifically with Facebook, the use of the site has a detrimental impact on a couple’s marriage.

The study looked at many couples across 43 states from 2008 to 2010. Researchers compared Facebook use and the divorce rate of these couples, and found a correlation between the two. Even when controlled for personal factors, such as race, age, and employment, the study found that divorce rates were higher when people used Facebook. The exact effect is that when a state has a 20 percent increase in Facebook users, the state’s divorce rate jumps by 2.18 percent.

Researchers urged that this finding is far from concrete, but it does represent a “significant predictor of divorce rates.” While excessive Facebook use probably doesn’t bode well for anyone, it is an important website. People are going to use it, even with this information. The goal is to know what to do with this information.

Couples need to refrain from allowing virtual interactions and activity to cause friction and arguments in reality. Social media is meant to be fun and engaging, not detrimental and upsetting. With that said, if you are going through a divorce, you should be careful what you post on social media platforms. It could impact you and your divorce if you soon-to-be-ex uses the information against you.

Source: ScienceBlog, “Could Facebook Use End a Marriage?,” June 2, 2014