Facebook is being blamed as a top cause of relationship problems and divorces, according to online stories I read, and in a New York Times article, I read that social Web sites such as Topix are causing big problems in small towns as people take traditionally coffee shop gossip to social networks.
We can’t blame these problems all on technology. If that were the case, we could blame cell phones and text messaging for divorces, breakups and other problems as well. Also, old fashion gossip has taken its toll on society for centuries.
Speaking from personal experience, having instant messaging at the tip of your fingers does create opportunities for emotions at a degree never before possible, and these dramas aren’t played out in little corners where people whisper, as in decades past, but in a public forum viewed by dozens, hundreds or more in an instant.
I know people who have quit Facebook altogether because it caused misunderstandings. In our families, there use to be time to cool out before confronting someone about a rumor or misunderstanding. With Facebook, some families are forever affected within seconds, with the simple clicking of a keyboard. On Facebook, you can hit delete and take things off, but once posted and viewed, things are hard to take back.