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What may create and build friendships and relationships could also destroy it in the end. A British law firm said that “Facebook” was mentioned in 989 out of a sample of 5000 filed divorce cases.
I always felt that Facebook’s highly interactive interface can suck you into a sense of reality that does not really exists – another world to escape from actual reality into a more convenient virtual reality that seems to have different rules. Well, that may not be so much the case, at least as far as relationships are concerned.
Divorce-Online said that 20% of divorce cases in the UK have references to Facebook. Inappropriate sexual chats on Facebook seem to have been the most common scenario. Should we be surprised that Facebook plays a role in many divorces today? In a time when many of us often spend hours on Facebook, even when we are not at home? We use Facebook on our cellphones and check status messages in the gym. It provides a sense of being the perfect tool to maintain relationships, secret or not. But it is also a tool that creates jealousy.
Apparently, that jealousy is justified in many cases.
No, of course we should not be surprised. And we should not be so naïve that inappropriate behavior, whether it is in marriages or dating scenarios will not be caught. At the very least you can expect your friends to communicate status messages to others and give those secrets running legs. What you believe is a safe secret may not be so safe in the end. But the divorce lawyer of your divorcing spouse will be grateful for your posts, which can be easily retrieved, for example through subpoenas
In the end, it may have catastrophic consequences if you and your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend do not understand why you are using Facebook and if there is no unbreakable band of trust – which, let’s be honest, is really necessary in a relationship given the amount time many of us spend with this service. I am a bit biased in this case, as Facebook has impacted me more than I could have ever imagined. My advice is that you know why you are using Facebook and for what purpose. Know that your posted information is potentially public information whether you like it or not. Know that your pictures are most likely open to anyone to see, if you do not configure them otherwise.
Also know that legal battles may prompt your employer or anyone else who believes your Facebook posts could reveal certain information to ask Facebook for a release of your posts. And if you or your partner/spouse in fact spend a lot of time on Facebook, open passwords and transparent communication about your activities is a good idea to keep jealousy in check. Facebook secrecy may give you that tingly feeling now and then, but be aware that it is a serious threat that can end your relationship.