Social media is being blamed as a major contributing factor in 40% of marriage breakdown according to a spokesperson for Relationships Ireland. This does not mean that all of these people are searching for somebody to be unfaithful with simply that they are spending more time on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter communicating with their friends rather than with their partners.
The person who is not on social media all the time starts to feel neglected as their partner spends more and more time online. There is often a belief that a person is addicted to social media. According to the spokesperson Facebook is the major culprit with Twitter a close second.
I think that this demonstrates a fear that exists within individuals that they need to keep up to date with everything that is going on within their own social circle to help establish their position within the pecking order. It is interesting to note that these people are not trying to have affairs they are simply communicating with friends and colleagues online. Conversations between friends are now regularly about what other friends have posted on Facebook or Twitter and everybody always likes to be the one “in the know”. The only way to be “in the know” when everything minute detail of our lives is being recorded for posterity and shared with the group is to continually check what is going on within your own online community.
We often talk about a work/life balance perhaps some of us need to realise that there also needs to be a social media/life balance. The problem for a lot of people is that social media is part of their life and gives them the opportunity to connect with friends at all times of the day and pretty much anywhere in the world. Relationships are a potential minefield at the best of times and it is always difficult when one partner believes that the others behaviour is unacceptable while the other thinks that it is acceptable. In the case of social media it is easy to justify what you are indulging in as being harmless as it involves a lot of people that both parties in the relationship know and trust.
I suppose that the truth of the matter is that we all have to decide where our priorities lie in life. Social media can be a wonderful tool that enriches and enhances our lives but it can also prove destructive.