Are Social Media Killing Marriages?

Couple using technology and ignoring each otherWe’ve all heard how social networking sites can be harmful to relationships. You check your account and find out that your love interest has not responded to your message. Before you post another message, you notice a pop-up for hot, available singles in your area. One of them looks like your old flame. So out of sheer curiosity, you Google them, only to find he or she is going through a nasty divorce and are looking to date again. And so it begins.

A new study conducted by Dr. Bernie Hogan of the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media can not only damage relationships when used for infidelity, but also when used as communication between two committed partners. You wouldn’t normally think that a flirty text, a cute emoticon in an instant message, or a romantic post to your spouse’s Facebook page could be bad for the relationship. Hogan surveyed over 3,000 couples and found that those who used more than five forms of media communication to stay in contact with their partners had lower levels of relationship satisfaction than those who kept it simple. And they weren’t just a little less satisfied; they were 14% less satisfied.

Hogan says it’s not about which outlets are used. It’s about the motivation for using them. “Using these media is great in moderation,” says Hogan. “But more is not necessarily better.” We may feel pressured to send texts, post messages, or IM as a way to compensate for not spending enough actual time with our partners. Letting our spouses know we are thinking of them through a sweet message is a good thing. Doing it because we can’t put down our gadgets long enough to hold their hands and look in their eyes is a bad thing. So remember, social media can provide great ways to stay in touch with those you love. But it should never be the only way.

Hope, Jenny. (2013). Study says computer talk is killing relationships. Daily Mail (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

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  • shayne

    April 26th, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Quite frankly I get really tired of hearing all about what everyone had for dinner and their plans for every single minute of the day! People are just abusing social media, like cramming down your throat every minute of their lives, and while it was fun at first now it seems more of a nuisance than anything else.

  • JILL

    April 27th, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Why would you even want to post something to your spouse on social media? I mean you meet him/her everyday, you can give them a call, or a text, using social media only to show the world what you’re saying to your spouse is plain stupid.and let me tell you there is no shortage of people doing this.

  • Hank F

    April 27th, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    Am I the only one who actually likes it when my honey posts things to me on my Facebook wall or sends me naughty little texts, or even sweet ones? I mean, this is the way that most of us communicate today, and it can’t be used as a substitute for spending real quality time together, but I don’t think that it means that this is the death of the relationship either. There are many ways to communicate today and just because it would be in a way that our [parents might not be comfortable with or that older people look down their nose at, this is how our generation was raised, the things that we are accustomed to and I don’t see why this would have to be phased out to have a stable relationship with someone else. That just is not a realistic exp[ectation for most of the couples my age.

  • Martin

    April 27th, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    social media doesn’t kill marriages
    couples kill them

  • KR

    April 28th, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    My ex husband an I got divorced a couple of years ago.Reason was he found his college sweetheart on social media and then that led to him cheating with her.Not saying everybody does this but what is the need to be connected to people you already broke away from years ago?!

  • Fred

    April 29th, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    How are you supposed to avoid this stuff then? This is the way the world works these days. There are times that if I didn’t communicate with my wife this way them we probably wouldn’t get to talk at all.

  • Paula gentle

    April 29th, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I’ve heard about a few couples who have broken up as a result of an old flame coming back on the scene via social media, but I think that social media is just the opportunity and not the cause of the break-up. I’m sad to say it, but I think there must have been problems in the marriages anyway.

    Social media as a whole. I think it breeds narcissism to scary new levels and that cant be good. She says after finding this link via twitter! There’s no escaping it.

  • Sally high

    April 29th, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I think a blend of the two can be effective when done in moderation. I see so many couples in my practice who have such an attachment to their phones and social media that it ruins the level of intimacy that they need to create one on one and face to face! I agree there is nothing wrong with posting a text or instant messaging each other but when it turns into an obsession, its time to put down the gadgets and get back to the basics of face to face interaction and remember what brought you all together! It’s important not to loose the intimacy of the relationship.

  • Anonymous

    June 10th, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Social media is not the course of breakups en all bad things u going through in a relationship. People have a tendency of using it in a wrong way. My boyfriend of a year did something stupid on FB en it totally ruined our relationship. He want me to believe what he’s telling me but from the look of it, it doesn’t look like that. I’m so dissapointed in him en lost all the trust I have for him. I don’t if I should keep this relationship going.
    I feel that he’s treating me like stupid

  • siya

    July 3rd, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Really? How does : you also rock ;) look from where your girlfriend is sitting? How many more eye winking (my girlfriend) signals can you come up with? Seriously…?

  • sir ricky

    September 3rd, 2014 at 6:20 AM

    I think its not harmful if the couple is indulging in it together. Complete transparency. But when ur mate has to hide their profile or lie about even having an account there is some bs going on… Period.

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