Marital troubles can have the most mundane beginnings.
It could be as simple as:
- writing a cryptic status update on Facebook
- liking a gym workout video on Instagram
- or retweeting a controversial statement on Twitter
For as seemingly ordinary a thing can be, the way we use social media can drastically affect our relationships.
From couples feeling isolated from one another to mistrust brewing over insecurities to a dramatic divorce, it can all start from misuse of social media between partners.
Hard to believe?
This extensive list of facts and figures shows how social media impacts marriage.
Social Media and Marriage Statistics (Top Picks)
- Heavy social media users are 2x more likely to contemplate divorce.
- Social media was responsible for most of the cheating in marriage.
- 1 out of 5 divorce cases is caused by Facebook.
- 30% of Tinder users are married.
- Ahsley Madison gets over 130 million visitors per month.
- Over 30% of marriages start online and tend to last longer than those that begin offline.
Can social media destroy Marriages?
1. As the largest social media platform in the world, it’s no surprise that Facebook has a significant impact on married couples.
Although not a direct cause, there’s a correlation between the 20% annual increase in Facebook users with a 2.18% to 4.32% increase in divorce rates.
2. Couples who aren’t on social media stated 11.4% more satisfaction in their marriage than couples who constantly use social media.
3. There is a 31.93% chance for heavy social media users to think about leaving their spouses.
For non-social media users, the likelihood of entertaining thoughts of divorce is 16.34%.
4. 10% of adults have admitted to hiding their social media messages and posts from their partners.
5. 8% of adults in relationships have admitted to having secret accounts.
6. Online affairs now contribute to more than a third of divorces.
7. 3 out of 10 Tinder accounts are made by people who are married.
8. Ashley Madison, the social networking platform that connects people looking to have an affair, has over 130 million monthly visitors to its website.
9. 80% of divorce lawyers said social media was responsible for most of the cheating in marriage and that Facebook caused 1 out of 5 divorce cases.
How do couples perceive the impact of social media on their relationships?
10. 66% of American adults in marriages or other committed relationships say that the internet, mobile phones, and social media are important to their lives.
10% of married or partnered internet users cited the internet as having a significant impact, while 17% reported only a minor influence on their relationships.
72% said the internet does not impact their relationship at all.
11. 74% of adults who said the internet impacted their marriage or partnership also said it’s a positive impact.
12. 20% said it made a negative impact, while 4% said it created both a positive and negative impact.
How does social media affect communication in relationships?
13. 25% of adult couples living together have texted their partner while at home.
14. 21% of mobile phone or internet users in long-term relationships say online or text exchanges have made them feel closer to their partners.
15. 9% resolved an argument with their partner via text or online chat that they had problems resolving in person.
16. 51% of mobile phone users in long-term relationships have said such devices have distracted their partners when spending time together.
17. 40% of adults in long-term relationships have said they were bothered by how much time their partner spends on their phones.
18. 8% of long-term couples who use the internet have had an argument with their partner about time spent online.
19. 4% of long-term couples who use the internet have gotten upset about something they found out their partner was doing online.
How does social media usage affect young adult relationships?
20. Online or text conversations have helped 41% of 18-29-year-olds in committed relationships feel closer.
21. Digital tools have helped 23% of 18-29-year-olds in committed relationships resolve arguments they had trouble resolving in person.
22. 42% of 18-29-year-olds who use mobile phones and are in committed relationships report their partner being distracted by their phones while spending time together.
23. 18% of 18-29-year-olds who use the internet have argued with their partner about time spent online.
24. 8% of 18-29-year-olds have gotten upset about something they found out their partner was doing online.
25. 45% of 18-29-year-olds in committed relationships say the internet influenced their relationship.
In contrast, only 1 in 10 internet users ages 65 and older report the internet impacts their relationships.
26. Younger couples are more likely to experience jealousy and infidelity through social media than older couples.
Only 35% of couples share pictures of themselves as couples.
Only 12% are open about their relationship status.
Average age of couples who use social media
27. Most couples that use social media are 20 to 40 years old, making up 71% of this survey.
People in their 50s and older only make up 11% of the survey of married couples who use social media.
How do couples share social media accounts?
28. 67% of couples in long-term relationships have shared the password of one or more of their online accounts with their partner.
29. 27% say they share an email account with their partner.
It’s more common for older adults, as 47% of long-term couples aged 65+ share an email account.
30. 11% of couples that share online accounts also share an online calendar. It’s more common for partners in their mid-20s to mid-40s where they have more planning to do.
31. 11% of adults in committed relationships who use social media share a profile.
Is it common for married couples to sext?
32. 91% of married couples reported they received sexts, and 79.76% sent sexts.
33. 89.69% of married adults sexted their spouses. (*of those who reported sexting.)
Do married couples send sext pictures?
34. 77% said they received sext pictures, and 64.05% have sent them.
7.85% reported never sending or receiving sexts (text/picture).
Why do married couples sext?
35. When married couples were asked why they send sexts:
- 82.48% said to improve their marriage.
- 51.55% said to have sex.
- 43.3% said they just wanted to flirt.
- 4% said because of the perception that everyone does.
- 12.37% said they wanted someone to talk to.
Source: Sage Journals
How often do partners spy on each other’s online activity?
36. 68% of married couples say they are not curious about their partners’ online activities.
37. 34% of couples have spied on their partner’s phones.
38. 42% of women said they have spied on their partner’s phone.
Only 25% of men said they had done the same.
39. 64% of Facebook users re-read and over-analyze old posts and messages between their ex after breaking up.
40. 88% of ex-partners who remained Facebook friends have spied on their ex-partner’s profile.
How do married couples approach time spent on social media?
41. More married couples leaned towards the importance of setting a limit for social media usage to increase marital satisfaction.
- 47% believed it’s important to set a limit
- 32% were neutral
- 21% didn’t think it was necessary to set a limit
42. 80% felt 1 to 3 hours should be enough time spent on social media.
How does social media affect marriage positively?
43. Over a third of marriages in the US start with couples connecting through social media and dating apps. They also last longer on average compared to marriages that begin offline.
How do dating sites factor into modern relationships?
44. Unsatisfied married couples look online for new love instead of solving their problems.
53% of married couples have taken family therapy to address problems with cybersex.
45. Dating sites are becoming more and more acceptable as a way to find a soul mate.
87% of males believe it is socially acceptable, while 83% of females share the same belief.
People with incomes between 50,000 and 74,999 make up the largest part of the user base of dating sites.
46. More couples in the US have met through dating sites compared to other more traditional means:
- 16% of couples met through dating sites
- 12% met through friends
- 7% met through social networking
- 7% met through social gatherings
6 Tips to Keep Social Media from Making Your Marriage Miserable
So now we have figures to show that social media impacts marriage.
The question then is, what do we do about it to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives?
Here are tips you can follow to make social media work in your marriage’s favor.
1. Share with consent
Social media trains us to make everything in our lives public.
It’s become so natural that we don’t even think twice about it.
Whether it’s as meaningful as getting hired at your dream company or as ordinary as uploading a photo of your breakfast, we let the whole world know.
Being so open on social media when you’re single is already arguable.
It’s much more of an issue when you’re married.
You might be okay telling everyone about everything with your marriage life. Your spouse might not be.
Before you post pics of your tropical island getaway or an update about your new living situation, ask your partner if they’re okay with it.
Even if you think it’s positive, like your spouse being promoted or having a lovely time at your favorite restaurant, take a moment to get consent from your partner.
2. Treat exes like landmines
A sign of a strong marriage is trusting your spouse to stay faithful.
However, we’re still human and have our moments of weakness.
And because of the history that’s wrapped up with exes, they can trigger feelings of insecurity and jealousy more easily.
The simplest way to deal with this issue is to avoid having exes in your social media network.
If you genuinely believe it’s not going to be a problem, talk to your partner about it.
They might be okay with having exes only as part of a big friend/follower list but not be OK with constant interactions on social media.
3. Avoid social media after a fight
It’s tempting to let off steam on social media coming off a heated disagreement with your spouse.
You can quickly get sympathy and support from loved ones.
And there’s catharsis in screaming into the void.
But whatever immediate satisfaction you gain from publicly dragging your spouse is not worth it.
The humiliation you put your partner through will only result in broken trust, resentment, regret, and more tension.
There’s also the chance that you make yourself feel worse about your relationship if you see other couples showing love and affection.
Yet another bad outcome would be suddenly stalking exes or looking at profiles of friends you’ve thought of being attractive.
Cool off with any other activity: then talk to your spouse.
Social media will only tempt you to air out dirty laundry, unfairly compare your relationship, or entertain thoughts of infidelity.
4. Handle the like button with caution
Liking social media posts seems harmless.
Everyone does it.
It’s even expected to show support for loved ones.
- Your brother shows off his brand new car. You like it.
- Your old college buddy posts pictures of her newborn twins. You like it.
- Your mother-in-law writes a thoughtful message about her family. You like it.
- Your flirty coworker uploads a skimpy selfie. You should probably not like it.
- Your ex reminisces about your relationship. You most definitely should not like it.
Your best bet is that your spouse can see you Like things that make them raise their eyebrows.
This isn’t restricted to what the people in your social network directly share either.
Posts from brands, organizations, celebrities, and politicians that your spouse might not approve of could lead to conflict when they see that you liked those posts.
Take a moment to think if your partner would be okay with it before clicking that like button.
5. Celebrate your relationship
Despite all the previous tips about avoiding social media traps, there is still some good you can do for your marriage.
There’s one thing social media is good at: amplifying a message.
It can be helpful to express how much you value your spouse.
Your partner needs to hear you say that you love them.
You can verbalize your love for your partner through social media.
Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and career-defining moments are the perfect time to write a lengthy post celebrating your spouse and your relationship.
- Build up your wife, who has tirelessly volunteered to teach disadvantaged youth.
- Brag about your husband, who still finds time after work to help your kids with homework.
- Congratulate your partner who went back to college and got a master’s degree.
You don’t even need an excuse like a holiday to say something nice about them on social media.
Gather your thoughts (and maybe your best photos together) to create a post that announces to your whole network that they’re the best spouse ever.
With their consent, of course!
6. Get off social media
Social media demands so much of our attention.
So much so that it can be easy to lose sight of what’s in front of us.
It’s also easy to say, “just don’t go on social media.”
It seems impossible with how much it’s ingrained into our daily lives.
Well, you don’t have to do the impossible.
Instead of getting off social media permanently, you can do a detox.
Try spending a whole day without logging on to any of your accounts.
You’ll find that you suddenly have all this free time.
What should you spend it on?
Try your spouse!
- Talk face to face.
- Take a leisurely walk outside while holding hands.
- Watch a movie together.
Got downtime, and you feel your fingers itching to pop into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok?
Put your phone away!
With your partner agreeing to this setup, you can hold each other accountable.
And if that works, push the detox into the next day.
Then the day after next.
And then the day after that.
And now that you’ve gone this far might as well push it to the rest of the week.
Sooner or later, you might realize that you don’t need social media.
It’s also okay if you recognize the need, especially when connecting with loved ones or if your career requires it.
But the time spent away from it should give you a fresher perspective on relying too much on social media to fill the gaps in your day.
Even just an hour dedicated to spending quality time with your spouse and both of your phones tucked away can be enough.
This way, you can break the habit of mindlessly scrolling your feeds.
Ultimately, it’s about having mindful interactions with social media.
It’s a tool like any other technology that can be used for good or ill.
Use it thoughtlessly, and you run the risk of ruining your relationship.
Use it wisely, and it can bring you closer to your spouse.