Study: Sneaky social media use leads to break-ups - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Sneaky social media use leads to break-ups

Have you ever been through a break-up because of social media? According to new study, soaring numbers of people site divorce because there are too many digital ways to cheat. 

Now, some feel we have almost too many forms to communicate on the down low beyond texting: Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and more. 

Couples in the Heartland say they can see why that can be a problem. Local therapists and attorneys say they often see digital drama come up in divorce talks. 

Heartland News also discovered some couples are the exception to the study, saying it is possible to be online and in tune with each other. 

"It doesn't really matter with us because we're not doing anything we shouldn't," said Courtney King. She's engaged to Brendan Dickerson and they agree, the two of them couldn't be closer. They say between them there's no social media jealousy because their relationship is rooted in trust. 

"We are very open," said Dickerson. "We know each others passwords but each of us trust we have no reason to use them." 

However, studies show they are a rare pair.The Slater and Gordon Law Firm surveyed 2000 couples. Reports also include numbers from 80 percent of divorce attorneys within the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers who said they found a significant number of divorce cases involving social media.

One in seven say they're considering divorce because of activity on virtually every kind of social media. 

Twenty-five percent reported they have a fight with their significant other over Facebook at least once a week due to the discovery of suspicious messaging. 

Over half know their partner's passwords, and say they use it, 

"I've known some people that have gotten divorced," said Jessica Strunk. 

College Student Jessica Strunk is a member of Redhawk Health Educators. You can find more about the organization at : http://semo.edu/peered/

"We try to reach out to students about everything from healthy relationships to the dangers of drugs and alcohol," Strunk said. "When it comes to relationships I would tell a fellow student that someone that's reading all of their messages is using that as a form control. That's not necessarily love or healthy. If someone feels the need to contact someone else outside your relationship or post inappropriate things that's probably a sign you could be stronger yourself in a stronger relationship with real loving trust and communication."  

Strunk says she sees social media going too far among her peers and even becoming an addiction. In turn, that therapists say that can lead to obsessive checking and trouble.  

"It's too easy to cheat because opportunities are everywhere," said Strunk. "There's also issues that can develop with jealousy of others or posting things with no filter and that's just not a good environment." 

Strunk herself maintains a long-distance relationship she says is very healthy. 

"When it's right you just know," Strunk said. "We trust each other. We spend as much time together as we can and we connect long distance with a phone call as much as we can. It goes a lot further to keep us strong than just online."  

The worst offender?  Facebook, according to that study.  Meanwhile, another problem includes sites like Snapchat where the messages are gone shortly after you send them.

Couples who say they're strong suggest it's time to unplug to connect. They say trust comes from the heart not your finger tips. 

"Talk to each other about things and stay off your phone," said Dickerson. "Any kind of relationship just over social media is not going to work in my opinion."  

"We're together all the time," said King. "We find common things to do together and we really focus on doing those." 

Heartland therapists say couples who turned their love life around did so by spending real face-to-face time together. Meanwhile, we compiled a list of signs Facebook or other digital gateways may put your relationship on a path to failure through therapists, attorneys and those who study social media. 

Here are our ABCs of creating a cyber chaos in your relationships. 

A) Allowing Facebook to consume your life: Here, counselors say an actual addiction can develop. If you find yourself comparing your life to everyone else's online, that could spell trouble and lead to jealousy and unhealthy feelings. 

B) Tracking down an ex: Online experts say it's almost too easy to find your old crush, or significant other - and too tempting to reach out. Limiting the communication is the best way to keep your current relationship strong. Therapists say turn away from Facebook and get face to face with your sweetheart. 

C) Getting too personal with posts: Dishing your marital or relationship issues online is just plain inappropriate, advise couples therapists. They say this can spark fights and disagreements. 

D) Hitting on others through public posts. While those who study online activity say posting and commenting has become part of culture, you should think before your type. 

E) Shutting down your significant other about what happens on social media: Attorneys who deal with social media in divorce cases and therapists warn when secrets start that's usually a sign of trouble. They warn it's a sign of a trust issue rooted much deeper than digital drama. 

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. 

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