One thing that social media has aided is cheating in relationships and marriages. People have fought, separated or even divorced simply because a partner was found flirting, sex-chatting, or arranging for dates via one of the social media platforms. Facebook, being the social media platform for catching up with lost friends, some of which are exes, has more than tripled relationship problems.
Not one or two of my friends have left Facebook because their partners demanded so, but many. Personally I once asked my girlfriend to delete more than three quarters of her friends that she didn’t know first hand, and there are those who don’t get along because their partners spend too much time on Facebook.
Then there is this question that a number of those in relationship worry about; “what are the signs of a cheating partner?” Answers such as “she starts caring too much about her appearance”, “she shifts priorities away from you”, “she has a mysterious friend”, “he has no sense of guilt”, “he is from unfaithful family”, “he frequents boys nights lately” etc lack one important modern day metric, “s/he spends too much time on Facebook”.
A study by Russell B. Clayton, Alexander Nagurney, and Jessica R. Smith of University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Hawaii, and St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas respectively on Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking that was aimed at investigating “the relationship between using the social networking site known as Facebook and negative interpersonal relationship outcomes” found out, from a survey of 205 Facebook users aged 18 years to 82 years, that “high level of Facebook usage is associated with negative relationship outcomes”. The negative relationship outcomes include breakup/divorce, emotional cheating, and physical cheating.
In summary, the research findings indicate that partners who spend a lot of time on Facebook are more likely to cheat or cause relationship problems compared to partners who spend moderate time on the social network. However, the abstract has not provided definitions of “too much time”, “moderate time”, or “high” vs “low” level Facebook usage.
Since the standard answers to the question “what are the signs of a cheating partner” are generally generic, probably those in relationships and marriages need to start monitoring Facebook usage in order to determine whether a partner is cheating or not.
To be on safe side of Facebook cheating, ensure that:
- Your partner does not have any of his/her exes as their Facebook friends as people tend to cheat with exes
- You have the log-in credential of your partners social media accounts
- You spend a lot of quality time with your partner to deprive them of the idle time they would rather spend on Facebook flirting with strangers or exes.