Tag Archives: Facebook

Can Social Networking Lead to Divorce?

Divorce lawyers are reporting this month that 20 percent of divorce petitions cite Facebook as a contributor in the marriage’s demise. It’s unclear whether the numbers are accurate, but social networking can pose a new kind of threat to relationships if not used appropriately.

Facebook’s 350 million+ users find the site allows them to easily connect with friends and relatives, people they once knew, or new people with common interests. For some people, these connections can lead to curiosity, online flirting, wandering eyes, and the opportunity to rekindle old relationships or begin new ones.

The increasing use of mobile devices to communicate on social networking sites can make  posts seem more private. However, nothing posted to the Internet is private, and these communications frequently become public knowledge.

Lack of trust by the offended spouse can result, and marriages may be splintered. Once relationships have been sparked, users may be tempted to cheat on their spouses, or may leave their marriages for a new or old flame. Temptation is as old as time, but some people may find this new type of temptation too alluring.

Some couples are opting to avoid social networks for these reasons. Others are putting in place guidelines for communicating with the opposite gender.

A helpful article at the Marriage Junkie gives 5 ways to protect your marriage if you use social networking.

A few tidbits they share include not sharing negative information about your spouse, choosing your “friends” wisely, discussing with your spouse what topics or people should be out of bounds, and avoiding private chats or the development of close relationships with members of the opposite sex. When in doubt, “unfriend” someone who is offensive or who sparks inappropriate feelings.

One tip I would add is to “friend” your spouse, or if they are not a member, provide your spouse access to your page at any time—not to “check on you” but so that you can chat about common friends and activities and have an air of openness.

A previous post details why emotional affairs can be just as deadly to a marriage as physical ones. Guard your mind and heart, and keep your focus and attention on your beloved spouse.

Do you use Facebook? Do you have any safeguards in place or do you see no need for them?

Photo Credit: ©PhotoXpress.com

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True Connectivity

I’m a fan of Twitter and Facebook and find these and other sites help me connect with lots of different people for work and personal reasons I wouldn’t otherwise talk to. I think our use of these and other social networking tools helps fill a desire to be known by and connected to others. However, we should beware that filling our lives with technological tasks can, in some cases, actually reduce our true connectivity.

You’ve seen the friends who post details of their vacation every day and let you know when they stop for coffee. They air their grievances online. They carry their cell phone everywhere and never turn it off. They text in the middle of a dinner party. You probably know a lot more of these individuals than folks who take time out for silence.

Our frenetic pace doesn’t often allow for quiet time, for thinking, contemplation, prayer or meditation, for spending relaxing unstructured time with spouses and close family members. The wisest, calmest people you know probably allow themselves time of solitude. When we don’t take time for the bigger picture, we can begin to feel overwhelmed. We may even reach out to our social network to tell them how overwhelmed we feel or to complain about our busy schedule, which does little to solve the problem.

Many folks are finding they need to “unplug” from technology (including TV, ipods, cell phones and radio) for periods of time to help recharge their batteries, both for the more structured planning, praying or reading/learning type of activities, and for non-structured relaxed activities like taking a walk or bike ride or watching a sunset. I personally find that during these unstructured times, I often will find insight into a problem or a great idea that helps me with a project.

When you are lucky enough to be married, you have a partner for life, and someone you can truly know and be known by, an answer to our true desire to be connected. Once you allow yourself time of solitude to know yourself well, you can share yourself more effectively with your partner. Don’t allow gadgets or devices to get in the way of your personal sharing or to take away the valuable time you may need to reconnect.

This fall is the perfect time of year to appreciate the changing foliage together with your spouse while you share your feelings and discuss one another’s goals, challenges or concerns. Take time to listen and share. Don’t tweet about it, and don’t post a photo of the experience on your personal web page. Give yourself time to know your spouse and to be known. That’s true connectivity.

What gets in the way of your personal solitude or your true connectivity? Is there a way you can remove any obstacles?