Facebook just released a list of its top status trends for 2009. The list features mainly mundane topics such as Farmville, Michael Jackson, and Lady Gaga. It may also, however, need to include divorce.
Facebook is cited in one out of every five divorce petitions, according to some new research published this week. Apparently, the ability to “poke” with such ease is simply too tempting to resist.
Facebook Status: Divorced
The research comes by way of a British divorce center called Divorce-Online (a convenient concept, no?). According to the Telegraph, the center claims about 20 percent of all divorce documents include some type of reference to Facebook.
The root of the problem should come as no surprise: Too many spouses are using the social network for flirting — or more.
“The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to,” Mark Keenan, Divorce-Online’s managing director, is quoted as saying.
The Telegraph suggests the sudden popularity of sites such as Facebook is somehow encouraging people to cheat on their spouses. My response? Bollocks.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the problem isn’t actually Facebook — the problem is faithless spouses too stupid to realize they’re leaving an electronic trail. More and more people may be discovering their significant other’s indiscretions via social networks, but there’s no reason to believe that one is causing the other. Cheating is cheating; Facebook is just a medium (albeit one that creates an easily findable path of breadcrumbs).
So, yes, if we’re cheating slimeballs in the regular world, we’ll also be cheating slimeballs in the virtual world. Otherwise, we’re probably fine.
With all of that said, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until someone sues Facebook for “forcing them” to cyber-copulate with strangers. And if and when that happens, you’d better believe I’ll be first in line to mock the plaintiff.