KOMO News in Seattle is reporting that a local man is blaming Facebook for the collapse of his marriage. Divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen a dramatic increase in cases like this where social media sites are being blamed for marriages breaking up.
"Randy," who wished to keep his real identity secret in order to protect his child, told KOMO, "Facebook, without a doubt, played a big part in the end of my marriage."
At first, Randy didn't bat an eye when his now ex-wife connected with a former college boyfriend. But as time went on and his wife's addiction to Facebook grew more intense, Randy began to worry that she was involved romantically with her old flame.
"It got to the point of every moment she wasn't doing something, she'd be on Facebook," he said. "Unfortunately, a lot of it was with him."
Randy soon noticed changes in his wife. She began to act secretively. She changed her passwords and spent more time on her laptop in private. When questioned about what she was doing online, Randy says his wife would get defensive and close her laptop. He believes his wife got swept up in reliving the past on Facebook.
"You revert back to those days, the fun and excitement of college. It seemed innocent enough at first, but as it carries on it takes on a life of its own," he said.
Before long, Randy found out his wife was engaging in an extramarital affair. Randy found steamy text messages on his wife's phone and intimate online conversations with the man on her Facebook account. KOMO reports that exposure of his wife's online infidelity drove the couple to divorce court.
Seattle attorney Juliana Wong says cases like Randy's are common.
"You can say goodbye to the days where you find lipstick on the collar. It's not that anymore; it's these emails and text messages and postings," she said. "One of the first places that I go to is a social networking site - either Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and oftentimes maybe even LinkedIn. The Internet is written in ink, never in pencil. So when it's out there, it's out there."