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Social Cheating: A Look at Social Media's Influence on Infidelity

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There are many factors that can adversely affect a marriage lead to a divorce. However, you might be surprised to learn that a growing number of divorces in the United States are being affected and even caused by social networks. These sites have been beneficial in connecting people from all over the world, but these interactions may not always be innocent.

In this infographic, you’ll learn who is cheating through social media and just how many lawyers are now facing this challenge in court.

Social Media's Influence on Infidelity

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Social Media in the Courtroom

  • 81% of members from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported using or confronting information pulled from Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and various other social networking sites.
    • Of this evidence, 66% came from Facebook, 15% from Myspace, and 5% from Twitter.
    • 27% of wives use electronic information during a divorce case as opposed to only 5% of husbands.
    • Some circumstances include:
      • A mother denies smoking marijuana yet she posts pictures of herself on Facebook partying and smoking.
      • Someone’s husband logs onto Match.com, declares he is single, and without children. At the same time he is fighting for custody for the child he claims does not exist.
      • A husband denies in court that he has anger management issues, though on Facebook in his "write something about yourself" section he writes "If you have the nerve to get in my face, I’ll kick you into submission."

Who Cheats?

1 in 5 adults use Facebook for flirting.

Men

  • 23% of men cheat.
    • Men with performance anxiety or more easily aroused are more likely to cheat.
    • Unemployed men are more likely to be the cause of a split up.

Women

  • 19% of women cheat.
    • Women who are not sexually satisfied tend to cheat more.
    • 47% of females who loose their virginity before the age of 16 are more likely to divorce within 10 years of being married.

Top Facebook Evidence Used in Divorce Court

  • Messages to a member of the opposite sex that are deemed inappropriate.
  • Friends on Facebook reporting a spouse’s promiscuous activity.
  • Both spouses viciously attack each other via comments on Facebook.

Ways to Protect Yourself During a Divorce

  1. Think before you post.
    • Don’t comment around Facebook about how much of a terrible person your ex is or your personal feelings about them. This could only make things worse.
  2. Separate your social circles.
    • Keep your circle of friends separate where possible. Anything could be incriminating and it’s best to steer clear of this situation.
  3. Don’t turn on your location-based services.
    • Some social networks track your location and this could get you into some big trouble if you are noted attending some less than reputable establishments.

Avoid a Social Network Divorce

  • Reconnect without doing something you’ll regret.
    • Keep the other person at a distance emotionally. Sometimes, it’s easier to remember the good times of a former relationship and forget the bad.
  • Don’t have secrets with your spouse.
    • Sometimes if you reconnect with someone and become emotionally attached, you might find yourself sharing more with him or her than your significant other.
  • Keep your social network friends at arm’s length.
    • Maintain a relationship with people you can keep fully plutonic. Don’t overstep your boundaries.
  • Don’t be afraid to shut it all down.
    • If your Facebook account becomes too much of a burden, you can always delete your account. You have the ultimate say-so when it comes to controlling your life and your marriage.

Conclusion

While social media can be a fun place to reconnect with old friends and keep up with new and current ones, it can also play a deadly role in a marriage. With so many people online and connecting in new ways, it’s hard to predict just how far this problem will go before it’s routed.

Brought to you by Total Divorce.