People who regularly use social media sites like Facebook are more likely to divorce, new research suggests.
A study produced by researchers from Boston University claims to have found “a correlation between using social network sites (like Facebook), spousal troubles, and the divorce rate.”
Researchers surveyed 43 US states between 2008 and 2010, comparing the number of Facebook accounts in a state and dividing it by the total population to find ‘Facebook penetration’.
The divorce rate for each state was then compared to Facebook penetration to see if any patterns emerged.
The results showed a 2.18 per cent rise in the divorce rate of states which had a 20 per cent increase in the number of Facebook accounts.
Even when factors such as employment status, age, and race were accounted for, the correlation remained the same.
The study was conducted by James E. Katz, the director of the university’s Division of Emerging Media Studies, who said the results raise “troubling questions” about the effect of social media on romantic relationships.
“The institution of marriage, already under siege in many quarters, seems to be facing yet further assault from people’s growing enthrallment with social media.”
This is not the first study to produce these kinds of results. In 2013, research suggested that Facebook use can cause trouble for young couples.
In 2011, researchers from the University of Texas in Austin claimed people who did not use social media were significantly happier in their relationships and less likely to consider leaving their spouse than those who did.