Facebook bad for marriage says new research

Social networking phenomenon Facebook is at least partly responsible for one in five marriage breakups, if you believe the latest research from a British online divorce service.

By scanning their divorce petition database, they found that the word “Facebook” was used in 989 out of 5,000 cases sampled.

It seems that virtual infidelity, often starting with “inappropriate sexual chats”, have caused the most upset.

Of course, the research isn’t perfect by any means.

Firstly, this is from a scan of their own database, and therefore implies that their clients are technologically savvy.

Secondly, it only scans for one term, and doesn’t imply that use of such Internet services are wholly responsible for people filing for divorce.

Perhaps if there are already problems in a marriage, one or both partners may make problems worse by their online behaviour, but generally I think this would be a byproduct rather than the initial cause.

Having said that, it’s interesting that seven in ten Brits say online flirting is acceptable.

We also have interesting, albeit sensationalist, stories like that of a couple driven apart by online games.

So, I’m not surprised that Facebook and other online activity can play a part in marriage breakdowns, but it’s certainly not the sole cause in most cases.