Research shows a strong correlation between immoderate use of social media, a troubled relationship, and thoughts of divorce. Whether social media usage causes marriages to break down or if an already unhappy spouse turns to social media to fill the void, more time online correlates to lower levels of marital happiness.
When social media use becomes problematic in a marriage, many wonder what they can do and , interestingly enough, some answers may come from the very person who helped get the world hooked on social media in the first place. The author of , “Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products’, used by countless developers to grab and keep peoples attention, has a few suggestions that might help turn things around.
Silence Your Phone The Hook Model is described as a four-phase process that businesses use to create products or services used habitually by customers. The goal is high-frequency engagement. The first phase of the Hook Model deals with using a trigger that cues the action to build a habit, such as alerting a social media user to a waiting message using sounds or vibrations. In order to break the social media habit, users should start by simply silencing their phones.
Stop Messaging So Much The second phase has to do with users messaging “in anticipation of a reward”… looking forward to a response from a Facebook friend, a like, or a retweet. The author recommends that “people stop emailing” (tweeting, posting, messaging) or at least dialing down, which can be as easy as setting one or two times a day to engage in social media, akin to answering and sending work emails during work hours only so the rest of the time can be spent focusing on something, or someone, else.
If You Can’t Beat Em, Join In Moving on to the the third phase of the Hook Model is the reward itself, which reinforces heavy usage behavior. Social rewards based on connection and acceptance keep users coming back, and fortunately for married couples, rewards can be shared. Users “sitting next to someone who can see their screen” can make social media engagement a shared experience between spouses which may even bring them closer together.
Too Much of a Good Thing Social media companies are always investing in the future, improving the product or service to keep users coming back, which gets us to phase 4. It is important to see social media for what is – a business like any other where consumers have to make responsible choices. Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone as the saying goes and that is certainly true when a spouse spends too much time online. With strong correlations between social media, a troubled relationship, and thoughts of divorce, it may be wise to put the social media in its place.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, we strive to keep it as level and cost effective as possible. We encourage counseling, as well as negotiation, settlement agreements and other effective dispute resolution methods. If trial is necessary, you will have a powerful advocate on your side. If you are considering a separation or divorce, contact Lake county Illinois family law offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates PC, at 847-495-6000.
Source: The List, “What do I do if my partner spends too much time on Facebook?” acessed July 9, 2020