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1 in 5 Divorce Petitions Cite Facebook: Report

     
10:08 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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1 in 5 Divorce Petitions Cite Facebook: Report [telegraph.co.uk]
The social networking site, which connects old friends and allows users to make new ones online, is being blamed for an increasing number of marital breakdowns.

Divorce lawyers claim the explosion in the popularity of websites such as Facebook and Bebo is tempting to people to cheat on their partners.

Suspicious spouses have also used the websites to find evidence of flirting and even affairs which have led to divorce.

One law firm, which specialises in divorce, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook.

2:27 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They should all be glad Facebook is helping to expose their spouses as cheaters. If a website makes your spouse cheat then it's time to move on anyways.
2:40 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i know of one case where the discovery of facebook flirting put the relationship in jeopardy and another case where a spouse left the marriage after reconnecting with an old flame on facebook.
there is no doubt that the rise in usage of social networking and the enabling mechanism makes this inevitable.
12:42 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A few years ago, a TV program was made (in the UK) about the effect of Friends Reunited on divorce.

Kaled.

8:51 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The grass is always greener: first there were BBS, MUSHes, IRC, Prodigy, AOL, CUSeeMe, chat rooms, then Second Life, then Facebook, then ...

Let's blame the Internet!

10:59 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What's a facebook?
1:24 pm on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I very much doubt that the figure of 20% has any basis in reality except amongst facebook users.

Even in the USA the proportion of married couples who use facebook is far less than 20% before you start. Facebook, twitter et al are only relevant to the small minority of people who use them. The vast majority of people have better things to do with their lives than communicate with pseudo friends whom they have never met, are never likely to meet, and when it comes down to it they don't really give a toss about.

7:07 pm on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I find the irony . . . amazing.

I say irony because everyone is looking for something to blame it on. "Back in the day" this sort of thing was done on IRC and AOL chats; blame AOL and IRC. We all remember the McDonalds hot coffee law suit, blame it on Micky D (And we remember Jackie Chile's parody too . . .) People do stupid things with eBay and PayPal, when it goes sideways, of course payPal must be evil.

Facebook is a household name. It's only a natural progression that sooner or later, it's the cause of a marital breakdown (sarcasto-meter alert.) Otherwise we'd still be married and miserable. Right?

My wish for humanity in 2010: everyone take responsibility for your own c**p. HA! :-)

11:43 am on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't know about you, but everyone I know is on Facebook (age range 25-45), including their kids and parents.

And the 20% does not seem far-fetched when I listen to my friends talk (constantly) about old high school boyfriends/girlfriends that keep popping up on their FB profiles.

12:07 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[added]I realised after posting that there was a link on top of the news, but it doesn't change what I wrote below[/added]

Did anyone try to track the source of the information? I did. It's bogus.

From the BBC I found that the number was quoted by the managing director of a law firm, which happens to have the word "online" in their trade name, which would no doubt eschew the figures.

Furthermore, they promote themselves in Facebook, another reason that would bias this "finding".

So far we have a law firm that promotes themselves in facebook and that call themselves "online" claiming that "almost one in five" of divorces mention Facebook. I say they are doing a lousy job with their social networking efforts!

Lastly, the BBC opens the article with "according to research". I've scoured the law firm's website, including their frequently updated blog, and there's no mention of any "research".

So, it turns out one dude from a law firm mentioned a spurious figure off-handedly, and it made the news internationally (I'm in Spain), and even to the front page of Webmaster World!

Someone please prove me wrong and find that piece of research, so we can at least take a look at the methodology and the statistics involved!

1:48 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've just spent half an hour checking some statistics all available on line if you search for them and I fear the comments made in my previous post may be wrong.

In the USA population 308.24 million there are 94.75 million facebook members this is 30% of the entire population so it is reasonable to assume that a big majority of people between the ages of 20 and 50 (who are most likely to divorce)are members.

In the UK it is worse -36% of our entire population (61.63 million) are on facebook.

Personally I still can't see the attraction but I now realise I am the one with the minority viewpoint.

4:33 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Hi5, Tagged, et al are popular because they help feed the publics' narcissistic ego filled needs. You can read about it in: "Narcissism in the Age of Entitlement." - Great book on a fascinating subject.
8:18 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yet another marketing plague.. I am unsure why does media websites entertain such news items
surely to make more revenue, this news sites should be off the list)
10:04 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In addition to causing divorce using facebook can also result in death.

Police chief: ‘Bad guys' use Facebook, too

A “Sweet 16” birthday party Dec. 18 for two Ferndale High School girls was overrun by uninvited gang members who heard about the party on Facebook,

[hometownlife.com...]

10:11 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A “Sweet 16” birthday party Dec. 18 for two Ferndale High School girls was overrun by uninvited gang members who heard about the party on Facebook

There were supposedly 200 people at the party; I doubt they needed Facebook to hear about it.

1:10 am on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ah the free flow of information....
2:00 am on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is nothing new under the sun.

The romantic appeal of Facebook shows that people are often not looking for physical sex (not that there is anything wrong with physical sex) but for human communications. If you are in a relationship, you would be wise to remember that people need someone to talk to, someone to listen.

Alas, it's not that person on Facebook that is listening probably. It's just Facebook.

If you want to talk with your lover, send them an email. That way you can pretend they are listening to what you say. Voicemail works, too.

2:56 am on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Back when I worked for the first ISP in town I remember the big thing was email cheating.. Really, the technology doesn't matter, if someone is going to cheat they will cheat. If you're not inclined to cheat then it doesn't matter how connected you are. I like StoutFiles comment [edit: his first comment in this thread]. I've been there and I don't blame the internet at all.
4:51 pm on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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this is the turn of facebook... ive seen it coming for a long time. its the myspace for grown ups. although some would NOT consider them grown up at all.

dont have a FB account, and dont want one.

im a rebel like that...dont hate me.

6:48 pm on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't have any account, but my wife and kids do. I have a hard time getting grown-up kids on the phone, but my wife keeps me up-to-date on the family goings on. I suppose if I had a facebook account I wouldn't even have to have any personal contact with my wife. :)
1:56 am on Dec 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is a study published by a spanish psycologist about how these days, online tools and cell phones help to cheat and lead to big problems. Years ago it was complicated and required planning, now you can sms anyone or chat online via whatever, including fb. I think is some related to technology but more than anything, related to the nature of those cheating.