Facebook Doesn’t Cause Divorces, People Do

Much has been made this week about a revelation by U.K. divorce lawyers Divorce Online that “finds” Facebook behavior was named in about one-third of petitions filed in 2011.

“Facebook flirting causes one in three divorces,” trumpets the headline in Forbes.

This sort of revelation isn’t new, of course. Last March, the Guardian cited a 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matriomonial Lawyers suggesting that a majority of divorce cases use social networking posts, messages or comments as evidence.

I have even heard friends comment that Facebook is “causing” relationship problems.

To that I say, people cause divorces, not computers. We’ve got to stop blaming the medium for the fact that people aren’t grown-up enough to work through their problems. Yes, I am sure that social networks exacerbate problems that people already have. Perhaps they even encourage emotional affairs. They certainly make it easier to prove emotional infidelity.

But if a marriage is fundamentally sound in the first place, Facebook is about as harmless as your average neighborhood cocktail party.

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