Facebook Divorce.

You’ll probably have one of two reactions to this article and your reaction will probably say a lot about your age. A recent study by Divorce-Online of 5,000 divorce papers found that 20% off them referenced Facebook, primarily because individuals were having secret online chats with friends. This is where you’re thinking either “I told you those online sites were trouble” or “but I love Facebook.”

Let’s put another set of data on the table. In 2009, Harvard Business School conducted a study about how people use social networking sites, like Facebook. They collected their data, crunched the numbers, and came up with several top categories of use. They are:

  1.  Men looking at women they don’t know
  2. Men looking at women they do know
  3. Women look at other women they know

Additionally, women receive two-thirds of all page views. Obviously, there are clear gender differences in what people do online.

What’s the bottom line here? Couples need to talk about how they plan to use social networking sites. If you’re having a conversation on a social networking site that you wouldn’t want your partner to know about, then you might think about whether or not you should be having it in the first place. Some couples decide to create pages together, or to give each other their passwords for the sites and make social networking a shared experience.

There are clear generational divides that come up in reactions to these stories. Younger folks, who have grown up having their own, individual voicemails and emails find the idea of sharing online sites a bit odd. That reaction’s ok. Just talking with your partner about this will help get you on the same page and help prevent any future predicaments.

You may follow Nathan on: