As we become more connected to people through social networking, are we becoming more disconnected to the ones right next to us?
A new survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that about two thirds of divorce lawyers cite Facebook as “the ‘primary source’ of evidence in divorce proceedings.” In addition, The Guardian calls Facebook “a leading cause of relationship trouble.” Thou shalt not poke thy neighbours wife (or husband)! The article in The Guardian explains that it’s becoming quite common. “We’re coming across it more and more. One spouse connects online with someone they knew from school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook,” said Dr Steven Kimmons, a clinical psychologist and marriage counsellor at Loyola University Medical Centre near Chicago.
At the same time, it should be noted that divorce rates are not climbing since the social networking trend has taken off. If anything, there is a bit of a decrease. That shows that Facebook isn’t causing more relationships to fail, but perhaps just another variable that couples must learn to deal with. Same rules apply online as they do in “real life”.
I will say that in my opinion social networking has so many positives (it continues to be helpful in my life in countless ways as an entrepreneur), but does have it’s drawbacks to be aware of. Being “plugged in” at all times means your constantly being distracted and you’re spending more time looking at a screen than looking at the mountains or trees around you…or even connecting with the person next to you. Every once and a while, I’ll realize that I’ve walked a block and wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about my surroundings on that block because I was too busy on my phone. In those moments of realization, I try to take a breath, “unplug” by putting my phone away, and make an effort to be more present in the moment, and more in tune with my surroundings.
What are your thoughts on Facebook and it’s affect on your life? I leave you with this clever Sprint cell phone plan commercial: