Social Media and the Breakdown of Real Relationships
I’m a statistic. You may be a statistic, too. But I didn’t get ‘faced and mess around on Facebook during my marriage in order to become one. If I had, I would have needed a whole lot more than a cash advance to fix that kind of trouble.
Despite the seeming stupidity of it all, the London Telegraph claims that 1 in 5 divorces refers to Facebook. I cringe, and not just because of the horrific grammar in that linked phrase that I use to ensnare you, random Google surfer. I cringe because people use social media like Facebook and Twitter without thinking. Even Tiger Woods didn’t air his escapades for the entire World Wide Web to see.
Poke, Poke, Cheat, Cheat
Twenty percent of divorces are prompted by Facebook indiscretions? That’s a staggering number, but Mark Keenan of Divorce-Online tells the Telegraph that “I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was I was really surprised to see 20 percent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook.” Inappropriate sexual conversations with inappropriate people are big factor in divorces and other marital strife. E-mails, scrawling your libido on a Facebook wall or flashing the hot to trot via a mobile Facebook app are all signs that people have a lot to learn about being decent people. Remember, it’s quite easy for wronged lovers to track that kind of stuff.
But Everyone Deserves Physical Fulfillment
Yes, they do. But when you’re in a relationship, you’ve made a commitment to that person. That deserves more than what one 35-year-old woman got from her husband. Apparently, she discovered he was going to divorce her by combing his Facebook communications. Privacy and trust issues aside, show some class! A partner deserves face-to-face communication. No text message breakups, no phone calls, no E-mails, no Facebook posts. You make the commitment to be intimate with that person in the first place; show them the basic human courtesy of discussing it with them face-to-face before you shoot it off for the rest of the world to see.
Relationship Status: Too Stupid For a Relationship
Yes, 1 in 5 divorces refers to Facebook (to repeat the grammatically painful keyword). Many more relationships end because the couple is unwilling or unable to communicate in a respectful, healthy manner. But if your admission amounts to changing your Facebook relationship status, you are without question too stupid to be in a relationship.
What about full-on role play in the virtual world? Second Life and MMORPG venues have that covered, even though Linden Labs or any other game company would certainly say they do not condone such behavior. And I’d believe them. I find Second Life to be a neat idea for harmless fun, so long as that Second Life doesn’t become your first life. Yet having a virtual affair is not harmless fun. I know of at least one married former co-worker who played another game (a Final Fantasy MMORPG, I think) and had what amounted to an online affair with another player. Sadly, there are countless examples of such behavior going on in cyberspace, each and every day. Not only do these people often convince themselves that they need a cash advance to fund their gaming habit, but they have the gall to justify what they do as harmless fun.
Be Smart, Be Respectful
If your relationship is important to you and your partner (yes, you should honor your partner, all things being equal), work on your problems. If the differences are irreconcilable, talk about an exit strategy together. At least then you’re making the effort to show your former loved one respect and aren’t adding to the rubbish heap of statistics that includes such concepts as “1 in 5 divorces refers to Facebook.”