New research shows that over half of us snoop online behind our partner’s back.
Family Law specialists Slater and Gordon have recently commissioned research into how social media affects modern relationships; the results might surprise you.
We all love a good snoop, but apparently just under 50% of us Brits have admitted to secretly checking their partner’s Facebook account. While this is a worrying statistic in itself, what is more concerning is that 1 in 5 then go on to argue about what they have found.
But lets not be naive here, we’re not just pointing our busy clicking-finger at Facebook; we’re also talking Snapchat, Skype, Twitter and Whatsapp. 2000 Brits were surveyed and almost a quarter of them went on to admitting that social media was the cause of at least one argument a week, while a worrying 17% said that they argued every day because of it.
So why do we do it to ourselves? According to those questioned it would seem that we are secretly becoming a nation of control-freaks; spying on who our partners are talking to, who they are friends with, where they are going and whether or not they are lying to us. Sadly, 14% said that they were going out of their way to look for evidence of cheating.
It seems, however; that it’s not just what we do on social media that is causing arguments, but also how long we spend on it. Facebook usage topped the polls here with people citing too much time spent on it was causing a good deal of their arguments.
What is most shocking is not necessarily our untrusting sleuthing, but rather what many of us have gone on to find out. Conflict has occurred due to contact with ex-partners, sending secret messages and, worryingly, inappropriate pictures.
It’s no wonder then that a massive 20% of those questioned said that they felt uneasy about their relationship after having discovered something “questionable” online.
Slater and Gordon commissioned the research after noticing an increase in the number of people citing social media use as grounds for divorce.
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."
So what can we do to solve these social media woes? Here are some tips that you might find useful:
Be respectful: Don’t bad-mouth your partner online where your words can be read by friends and family.
Don’t post in anger: We are all guilty of saying things we don’t mean when we are feeling upset or hurt. Don’t make it worse by telling the whole world.
Check your privacy settings: to avoid people reading things that you wish they hadn’t.
Be Honest: Check with your partner before you post something online that could affect them.
Enjoy the moment: rather than worrying about posting it online.
With regards to being unfaithful using social media… don’t do it. It’s not worth it. If you are not happy with your partner you should either work to fix it or set them free, not go behind their back and try to fulfill your “needs” elsewhere.
As for those who feel the need to snoop; as much as I hate to say it, sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
If you liked this post you might also like another post on the ways in which social networking sites can affect your marriage.