New research from The Digital Hub reveals that just under half of all Brits admit they have secretly checked their partner’s Facebook account, and one in five went on to argue about what they found.
We’re talking Facebook, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter and Whatsapp – nearly a quarter or the 2,000 married Brits asked, said they had at least one argument a week with their partner because of social media use and 17% said they rowed every day because of it.
The most common reasons for checking their partner’s social media accounts was to find out who their partner was talking to, to keep tabs on them, to check who they were out with, and find out if they were telling the truth about their social life. While 14% said they looked specifically to identify evidence of infidelity.
It wasn’t just what their partner was doing on social media but also how long they spent on it that was likely to cause marital problems with Facebook usage topping the list of reasons couples argued over social media.
Arguments were also caused because of contact with an ex-partner, sending secret messages and posting inappropriate photos. One in twenty even complained that their partner didn’t post any picture of them together which made them upset.
A fifth of respondents said they felt uneasy about their relationship after discovering something on their partner’s Facebook. 43% said they confronted their spouse immediately after this, but 40% said it took them some time before they felt comfortable enough to raise it with their partner.
The research was commissioned by family law specialists Slater and Gordon who have seen an increase in the number of people citing social media use as a cause of divorce year on year.
Andrew Newbury, head of family law at Slater and Gordon said: “Social media can be a wonderful way of keeping in touch with family and friends, but it can also put added strain on a relationship.
“Five years ago Facebook was rarely mentioned in the context of a marriage ending, but now it has become common place for clients to cite social media, or something they discovered on social media, as a reason for divorce.
“With more than 556 million people using Facebook each day, the way we live our lives, and our marriage, has drastically changed. We are finding that social media is the new marriage minefield.
“Social media, specifically pictures and posts on Facebook, are now being routinely raised in the course of divorce proceedings.“
5 tips for couples using social media
- Don’t post in anger – your posts will be seen by all your friends, family and potentially millions of others. Even if you later delete your post, the damage will have been done
- Be respectful – don’t complain about your partner or other family members online
- Be transparent – check with your partner before you post images or information
- Check your privacy settings – you might think someone can’t see a post when they actually can
- Take a break and enjoy the moment – you don’t need to post everything on Facebook
But it’s not all about after the big day, it can be about the wedding day itself – be aware how Facebook and other social media can ruin the run up to your wedding and the actual day, and avoid!