Social Media: The Key to Marital Infidelity?
You can’t blame Facebook for the American divorce rate.
Well, you can’t fairly blame it for the entire divorce rate. But there are clear ways that the communications revolution—including the use of instant messaging and Internet social websites—has been an accomplice to the breakup of marriages. The trend even has been given a couple of names: “social cheating” or “digital infidelity.”
Of course, the technology only enables people to act on the basis of their impulses. Internet connections give people greater opportunities for marital misbehavior. We can only expect that the wider the opportunities, the more people who will decide to misbehave.
How online technology encourages infidelity
There are at least two ways that social media breaks down barriers that would otherwise prevent marital infidelity in North Carolina.
- Text and instant messaging give the illusion of emotional intimacy. Chatting with a stranger online allows you the freedom to express yourself without the normal filtering process. Inhibitions fall away without the normal nonverbal signals of regular conversation. Psychologists find that people involved in computer messaging can develop intense romantic “crushes” based on the imagined character of the conversation partner. These powerful, emotional connections can sometimes lead to a physical relationship.
- Social websites allow—even encourage—reconnecting with people from your past. Remember when you thought you had met the love of your life in seventh grade? The relationship barely went as far as holding hands—but now you have the opportunity to reconnect with that lost love, thanks to the social networking website you both have joined. It’s become a familiar pattern to divorce attorneys: a married spouse “friends” someone from the distant past on Facebook, and the two old flames eventually start—or resume—a love affair.
Social networking and North Carolina Divorce
Let’s not forget that infidelity is one of the major reasons why marriages fail.
Even though online communications provide extra opportunities for extramarital relationships, it is the married spouses who actually decide to violate their wedding vows. And all too often, they leave behind recognizable clues to their misbehavior. Such evidence can include:
- Indiscreet Facebook messages and photos
- Passionate e-mail messages
- Twitter messages about gifts from a married lover
Those communications may become vital evidence in a North Carolina divorce case. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over three-quarters of lawyers say they have seen an increase in cases that rely on evidence from social networking websites.
If you believe that your spouse has been unfaithful, it’s not the time to remain silent and passive. You need to know the options available to you before you can decide whether divorce is the best course for your future. At Speaks Law Firm, our Wilmington family law attorneys can calmly and dispassionately analyze your situation and discuss your best response to a cheating spouse.
This doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage, unless that’s what you want. It can be a new opportunity for you to make meaningful choices about what you really want. Call the Speaks Law Firm today at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233 to get started on redefining your life.
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