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Social media use and divorce

In addition to the many detrimental effects of social media, psychologists now understand more about the negative impacts that its use can have on individuals going through a divorce. Here is what you should know about social media and divorce – and why, if you are going through one, turning off the apps might be just what you need to protect your mental health.

Social media drives marital conflict

Couples who use social media are much likelier to experience conflict and, ultimately, to get divorced.
A landmark study performed by Loyola University Health System found that couples filing for divorce cite Facebook as a reason for the separation in one out of five divorces – an astonishing 20% — in the US.

Social media makes divorce more stressful

Many individuals going through divorce take to Facebook or Instagram to check up on their former partner, to marvel jealously at the apparently wonderful lives of their friends (which are often misrepresented online to appear better than they are in reality), or to engage in any number of similarly unhelpful activities.

No one needs extra mental health strain during divorce

The evidence is clear that mental illness in divorce, among one or both partners, creates even more tension, along with more potential problems, between the individuals involved.
Social media just add one more mental health burden to an already volatile emotional mix. If you’re in the middle of the process, consider doing yourself and everyone else involved – including, most especially, any children in the marriage – a favor: put down the phone.

One of the single best things you can do for your well-being during divorce is to switch off social media and engage your mind in other pursuits – take a walk, find a new hobby, or just go for a drive.