Facebook has found its way into every aspect of its users’ lives. What once was glimpses into daily happenings have become intrusions that are largely self-inflicted. Facebook “friends” can watch along as someone who is single meets someone, eventually gets married, and builds a family.
Pictures and videos soon follow of the proposal, wedding, and even a baby’s first steps.
Relationships are not relationships until they are “Facebook-official.” That status is a key component on a user’s Facebook page. Adding “In a Relationship,” then “Engaged,” and finally “Married” brings online congratulations through messages filled with GIFs and emojis.
Yet, when the marriage ends after only a few years, the posts, images, and other documentation live on in the online world. In addition, the relationship status must change due to the aforementioned “Facebook-official” rule that many feel obligated to follow.
Welcome to divorce’s digital era where calling it quits shines a bright spotlight on couples splitting up. Where ending relationships with spouses, in-laws, and once mutual friends are as easy as clicking “unfriend” or, even worse, “block.”
The technology does not end there. Online legal services allow couples to start the divorce process without leaving the comfort of their home. Upon finalization, getting back into the dating scene is as easy as downloading an app and giving a picture a “swipe.”
Marital dissolutions among millennials are somewhat rare and playing a role in driving down divorce rates between 2008 and 2017. Remaining friends is a common goal, especially when children are involved. Yet, shared “Facebook friends” still expose both exes to a treasure trove of memories, both good and bad.
With social media memorializing the past, they will also find it harder to move on.