Can Facebook cause cheating, breakups, or divorce?


Believe it or not, there are people who actually sue Facebook because it “caused” their partner to cheat. Or to lie. Or it led to an impending breakup. The list goes on and on.



Googling “Facebook and cheating” or “Facebook and relationship failure” pulls up literally thousands of results. Yes, literally thousands. Even relatively scientific studies in nature have been conducted to investigate this phenomenon.

Recent studies show that:People are more likely to “stalk” their partner’s ex via Facebook, which has been linked to “Facebook-induced jealousy” and arguments between partners

  • People are more likely to reconnect with exes, crushes, or “flings of the past” and significantly increases the chance of an emotional affair or cheating.
  • Facebook makes it “easier” for people to cheat because it’s easy and generally starts relatively innocent. You can chat with someone free of charge and involves a degree of distance. These innocent interactions can quickly involve into something much more dangerous.
  • We get a lot of attention via Facebook. Even something as simple as a  photo compliment from someone we perceive as more attractive as our partner is linked to a “the grass is greener over there” mindset

So, I have to ask. Is there any validity in such dramatic claims? I’ve always been a proponent of if you’re a cheater, you’re a cheater. If you’re a liar, you’re a liar. “Easier access” to “the goods” or temptation via Facebook is no excuse to misbehave. I don’t think that “new media made me do it” is a valid excuse that I would ever buy from a partner. Nevertheless, I do see the possibility of temptation, particular from the standpoint of an emotional affair. How do we know when an innocent Facebook chat with an old friend has become inappropriate and crossed the line?

Facebooking is great for those who are never, ever, under any circumstances, going to cheat on their partner. It’s also great for cheaters who are going to cheat either way—Facebook just makes it easier. Facebook represents a serious problem for folks like me—the teeterers. By that I mean those of us who are not 100 percent likely to cheat, but who might, unintentionally, teeter on fidelity’s edge. Facebook is to teeterers what a bar is to recovering alcoholics. Don’t go there!


When I used to work at the matchmaking agency, I always used to tell clients that a relationship has become inappropriate if you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing the details of your conversation with a spouse or significant other. I’m not saying that you should – your Facebook conversations are private and a certain degree of privacy should remain in a healthy relationship. However, if your conversations are becoming excessive or to a point where you hide them from your partner, you might be “teetering” on infidelity.

I think technologies like Facebook make it easier for us to cross the line into infidelity somewhat. The ease of access and ability to get into more trouble, more easily has often been credited towards the destruction of a relationship. I don’t believe that for a second. Just as some guilty parties caught in the data leak scandal blamed for offering them a platform to cheat, you can’t say your bad behavior was because of Facebook. In life, we consistently make choices.

We need to be more careful with our behavior on Facebook. We need to consistently ask ourselves if we are behaving appropriately. How would I feel if my partner was consistently stalking my ex-boyfriend online, or telling random girls personal dreams and desires on Facebook he would never tell me?

Regardless of the certain degree of distance and anonymity we find on Facebook, it doesn’t make bad behavior any less bad. There isn’t a course in Appropriate Relationship Behavior on Facebook 101 you can take at your local community college. The rules aren’t set in stone. In a way, that’s kind of cool. You can use it as an opportunity to talk to your partner about boundaries and behavior.

This includes the possibility of a joint Facebook account, which I personally think is totally creepy and weird and the only time I find it cute is my great aunt and uncle who have one because they’re 90 and adorable.

(And yes, I do think that in most cases a joint account was the result of cheating. If you can’t even trust someone to not cheat on you again that you have to consolidate your online presence, is that a healthy relationship? Just my two cents.)


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Emerging media technologies offer incredible opportunities for us to re-connect with others, keep in touch with family and friends – and even (yes!) potentially meet the love of our life we wouldn’t have met otherwise. If you say that social media was the main cause of the destruction of your relationship, maybe it’s time to log off and evaluate other life choices.

Can Facebook cause cheating, breakups, or divorce?

Social Media, Millennials, and Depression: It could happen to you

As I sit in my sweatpants, propped up in my bed inside my Broadway-themed room that I insisted on when I was 14, I log in to Facebook like I do on most morning.

It’s not like my morning is unusual – 91% of U.S. millennials are on Facebook and a high percentage of those report checking the platform multiple times per day.

Jeff proposed to Jina last night, how adorable and someone even filmed it! Miriam posted her latest sonogram. Paulina’s maid-of-honor just added a pic of the smiling bride-to-be at the salon getting ready to be “made up” for her wedding today. David is traveling to London for work, he’s one of the few kids I knew growing up that got into a lucrative start-up while he was in college and now he’s making six figures. Tara’s in Florence, where she travel blogs for a living and gets three months off per year. Henry just signed a contract with NASCAR (!) yesterday.

And here I am, wearing sweatpants in my childhood bedroom in my parent’s house where I currently reside. It’s easy to feel inadequate or sorry for yourself without consciously knowing it.


Retrieved from in reference to a study from the University of Michigan. 82 students underwent a social media study. They found that the more time a person spends on Facebook, the more his or her feelings of well-being decrease and feelings of depression increase.

“Social media depression” is a very real phenomenon.

Particularly for college students and millennials, I don’t think that this topic gets the appropriate attention that it deserves.

Studies have shown that heavy Facebook use is correlated to feelings of depression and inadequacy, particularly among college students.  Many young millennials report that constantly seeing the great achievements of their peers leaves them feeling like they should be doing more – or better.

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that we only show our best selves on social media. Why post about a boring day at work or particularly trying argument with a family member? Why post about anything other than great achievements or happiness? Our friends  and family don’t care that we went to the bathroom, had oatmeal for breakfast, or hate our jobs. Even though we spend so much time on social media, so much of our life goes undocumented on Facebook. We are all fighting our own very private battles.

So before you feel jealous of Paulina’s wedding, remember everything we don’t know about her life. Distance yourself from social media at times, and remember that someone is also probably jealous of you, too.

Do you have any tips for combatting social media anxiety or depression? Do you believe it’s a phenomenon that needs significantly more attention? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Social Media, Millennials, and Depression: It could happen to you

Social Media And Your Job Search: What You Need To Know

What blog about millennials and emerging media would be complete without a discussion on Social Media and Your Job Search. Hopefully my use of capital letters helped to reinforce just how important this concept is.

Only 4% of job recruiters don’t use social media in the hiring process. This is both good and bad news for the millennial job seeker. You can tell your mom with 100% assurance that no, you’re REALLY not just goofing off on Twitter, you’re actually searching for a job.

(I’m looking at you, Mom!)

As marketers, we likely know (or should know!) how to navigate the social world. Of course, this gives us an instant leg-up compared to other job seekers. There’s no learning curve involved, so we can just go about our merry way and apply. However, as marketers, we’re also likely to have our own active social presence. While I know most of us young’uns probably hear this lecture every day, (I’m looking at you again, Mom! Just kidding… I love you) its importance shouldn’t be trivialized. 9 out of 10 recruiters scope you out on social media before interviewing you. Are you proud of your social profile?


Think before you post. 

Emerging media technologies including social media networks didn’t exactly come with a “rulebook” for jobseekers. If they did, it would probably need to be updated everyday as new networks pop up or privacy settings change. Keeping up with everything can certainly be exhausting.

Nonetheless: A good rule of thumb is to use common sense. Nothing on the internet is 100% secure anymore, no matter what you may think. Just because you think you have “iron clad” privacy settings doesn’t mean you do. Case in point: I know a girl who was very far in the interview process for a job. When the recruiter checked out her profile, she realized that she couldn’t see much of anything on her page but she noticed that they shared a mutual Facebook friend – a close relative of the recruiter’s. The relative scoped out the page for her and said that she posted a lot of inappropriate status updates complaining about her current job and photos of (herself) smoking marijuana.

Guess what? She didn’t get the job. The legality or ethics of that particular situation is a question for further discussion or debate.

What recruiters DO want to see:


Retrieved from

So while maintaining a killer web portfolio, LinkedIn page, and social search skills is important, equally important is to regulate your personal pages.

Have you ever found a job via social media? Do you have any “rules of thumb” for maintaining a professional presence online? For example, do you only post content that you’d be okay with Grandma seeing? Do you think recruiters have a right to check out your pages, even if it’s through other friends? Have you ever not hired someone because of something you’ve found on social media? Let me know in the comments below!


Social Media And Your Job Search: What You Need To Know

Go to the beach during your lunch hour no matter how cold it is outside: Virtual Vacations and the future of travel!

Did it just get cold where you live? After yet another day in Chicago with weather in the 60s yesterday, I (consciously) knew that our good luck was going to run out. I just didn’t think it was going to be so soon…

Today marks the emergence of my winter coat from the closet, with a severe winter storm on the horizon starting in about an hour. Sigh. All good things must come to an end.

Given the recent announcement of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels, (to create the world’s largest hotel company) I thought speaking about their current technologically-driven marketing strategy would be particularly timely.

Take a trip to the beach (virtually!) with Marriott Hotels.  In 2014, Marriott Hotels introduced the first-ever “Teleporters” in public areas throughout New York City. Using advanced virtual reality technology, Marriott developed fully-immersive booths that “travelers” could step into for a 100-second journey to a Hawaiian resort. Wearing a virtual reality headset, the experience appealed to all “senses” with synthetic scents, fans, and a rolling platform to mimic motion. The response to the experience was so overwhelmingly positive, Marriott decided to offer in-room VR headsets by request starting in Fall 2015. While consumers can purchase their own VR headsets from any big-box electronics store, Marriott’s will be more sophisticated and offer content not found anywhere else.


Retrieved from Prodigy.Umbrella



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Nope, sorry, you’re still here.

While Marriott understands that virtual reality technology will likely never replace actual vacations, (and quite frankly, it would be counterintuitive for a hotel company to try and promote an alternate means of travel that would eliminate the need for their services) they hope their emphasis on technology will appeal to younger travels and millennials. However, Marriott could sufficiently develop the technology enough that travelers would be able to “preview” a new property. Additionally, they hope to offer immersive experiences to destinations that most travelers will never be able to afford, such as Mt. Kilimanjaro.

So what do you think? Is this just an elaborate, creative guerilla marketing stunt for Marriott? Marketing that employs virtual reality technology, a part of the “augmented reality” marketing movement, is growing increasingly popular across a wide range of industries.

Do you think there’s any chance that this technology will “take off” as a viable way for travelers to preview a resort or “travel” to an exotic, out-of-reach location? Or do you simply see it as an inventive marketing stunt – and that alone? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Maybe I don’t have the time off to get to Hawaii right now, but I sure wouldn’t mind a brief escape to Hawaii during my office lunch break…

Go to the beach during your lunch hour no matter how cold it is outside: Virtual Vacations and the future of travel!