Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.
Facebook is a great thing, isn’t it? I can find old friends, find out details about people that I am about to meet, and keep track of the happenings in the lives of those that I care about using Facebook. It is a handy tool, but it can also be a tool that wrecks relationships and destroys marriages too.
A study was done by Divorce-Online which looked at 5,000 cases of divorce in the United Kingdom. One third of those cases listed Facebook as evidence in the divorce. The top three reasons as cited by the study were inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex, spouses that were separated making ugly comments about each other, and friends of the spouse reporting their misbehavior.
Sometimes these online relationships start off as an innocent curiosity about an old flame. It is easy to type in a name and do a quick search. A friend request, an innocent “hi,” and the ball starts rolling. It does not take long before you remember only the good times with your reacquainted friend and then you reflect on the direction of your current life. After all, nobody fills their profile with all of their faults and flaws. That is where the danger begins. I have heard it said that it is not the first look that gets you into trouble. It is the second. If you are going to rekindle an old flame anyway, why not remember all of the reasons why you got married and reignite the sparks with your spouse?
Some friends of mine got together after Christmas, and this subject came up. One friend does not have a Facebook account so that he can avoid suspicions from his wife. Another said that he and his wife know each other’s passwords to help eliminate any suspicion. I know of three families that were recently thrown into turmoil following an emotional affair that was started on Facebook. One closed their accounts to save the marriage, one is still struggling with the problem, and the other ended in divorce. An emotional affair can be just as destructive as a physical one.
A lot of energy is robbed from the relationship when one or both partners would rather spend time texting, Tweeting, and Facebooking than communicating with the person they care about. I see status updates all of the time that read, “I am on a date with my wife” or “Spending quality time with my children.” That is great, but put the electronic devices down and actually spend time with your family and loved ones. Tell the world about it later, if you think we really need to know. Enjoy the moment.
There is a new trend that I have also noticed online. People are choosing to go on a “Facebook Fast.” As we become more and more dependent on living virtual lives, I can think of nothing healthier. I intend to do that this year.