NZ Herald Apr 13, 2010
Popular social networking website Facebook is being blamed for a growing number of divorces as bored and lovesick middle-aged couples hook up with their ex-lovers or childhood sweethearts. In Britain, divorce lawyers claim the popularity of social networking websites are tempting people to cheat on their partners, with firm Divorce-Online blaming Facebook for almost one in five of the petitions last year, the Telegraph reported. Relationship Services NZ national practice manager Cary Hayward said although he did not have any local Facebook divorce figures he believed the problem was not as bad in New Zealand. But he conceded the internet’s impact was an increasing issue that was being discussed more often in the organisation’s counselling rooms.
In Australia, online behaviour was starting to cause friction in households, Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse manager Elly Robinson said “People will come in [for counselling] where one partner may deny their online behaviour has been any sort of problem, but the issue is … if it’s upsetting one of those people in the relationship, it’s a problem,” she said. “Relationships develop more quickly online because inhibitions are lowered, it’s easy to exchange information, people are online 24/7, there’s an [endless] amount of people you can link up with who are there for the same reason … it’s a bit of a fantasy world.”