It’s been a fairly common fact bandied about in the last year or so that Facebook is “bad for relationships,” but it seems that there are now some stats to back that claim up, and they don’t look good for Facebook.
Word comes from Divorce-Online, which used its own divorce petition database to obtain the results, that just shy of 20% of all of the divorces petitions it searched through had the word “Facebook” in the petition itself. Having the name of the service in the petition itself would seem to imply a fairly hefty connection between the two, and the folks at Divorce-Online were quick to point out what it means and why they’d studied it in the first place.
It seems that the folks at Divorce-Online had mentioned internally that the social networking site seemed to crop up in a larger number of divorce petitions than might reasonably be expected. Still, when the search through roughly 5,000 divorce petitions revealed that almost a fifth of them contained references to Facebook, things got interesting.
According to Divorce Online’s Mark Keenan, “The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to.”
Certainly, that seems like a solid way to start a divorce, if not a good, old-fashioned argument. Still, the one thing that nobody’s pointed out yet in all of the manifold reports on Facebook’s responsibility for divorce is that Divorce-Online is likely going to see a lot more web-savvy custom than an offline divorce arrangement might, which makes the odds that its figures are skewed a bit just a touch high for us to think this is a reasonable statistic to extrapolate.
Still, it’s no less interesting.