In my practice, I see more and more marriages being impacted by social media. Email, texting, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other websites are impacting upon every aspect of our lives. People get divorced for many reasons. The list is almost endless. Some major reasons include infidelity, domestic violence, growing apart, abusive behavior, alcohol and other addiction issues, financial issues, pornography, failure to communicate, and just growing apart.
My question is what does the internet and social media have to do with this?
First of all, the internet speeds up everything. With Twitter, You Tube, and Facebook, it is almost as if our lives are being lived on steroids. Events do not happen gradually any more. With the click of a computer key, you can meet anyone online. Everything is speeded up by the internet and social media. I have had many cases where people meet strangers online and then have a sexual encounter. What about diseases? What about marital vows? People do stupid things and the internet makes it easier. It is so much easier with the anonymity of being online to lie and cheat. You can be anyone you want behind that computer screen. It is easier to change and shade the truth when you are not looking someone in the eye and having a face to face conversation. I have had clients on social dating sites before the divorce had been filed. Everyone is in a hurry.
Addiction Issues: The internet makes it easier. Pornography is everywhere on the internet. I have had a case where people spent thousands of dollars online looking at pornography or going to sites and meeting people whether through escort services, or other ways for sexual encounters.
People can obtain drugs whether prescription or otherwise online. The internet is a place for shopping and shop-a-holics will spend thousands of dollars online. I have had cases where there is an addiction to computer games, especially with children. I have seen situations where marriages breakdown where one spouse just spends his or her entire day on the internet. There are other addictions such as day-trading and e-trading, and the ease to do so online. There is also gambling online where one spouse will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have had cases where marriages have broken up over this.
I have had a case where child pornography online led to the demise of a marriage and jail time for the guilty spouse.
Human relationships are all impacted by the internet and social media. I feel it is having more and more of impact on my family law practice and on the lives of my clients. I would like you to share your views as to how the internet has impacted upon your marriage or divorce. Thank you.