Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your Free E books on Relapse Prevention and more here: http://thelawofsobriety.com/store/ Contact Sherry at [email protected] for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on her radio show “A Moment of Change” on CBS Radio here:http://www.sgabatherapy.com/RadioShow.en.html .
Social media is one of the newest technologies out there to have an impact on the marriage relationship. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and multiple other sites all provide options to stay connected, stay informed and meet others with similar likes and interests. However, there is also a darker side to social media that is becoming more and more recognized in its role in the breakdown of relationships.
In a recent article in the UK newspaper The Guardian it was reported that attorneys in both the UK and the USA report an increasing number of divorces that indicate that social media was a major cause in the breakdown of the relationship. In fact one in five attorneys surveyed reported it was a growing issue with their clients. In the UK up to 33% of divorces filed indicate that inappropriate internet use through social media sites was a cause of the breakdown of the relationship.
People can become addicted to communication online, which is not all that different from addiction to other types of “normal” behaviors. Research shows that the pleasure that is obtained by these online communications can actually trigger neurological changes in the brain, particularly in the need for the “feel good” chemicals. The ability to talk anonymously online to others poses a problem, but so does the ability to create an online persona that may be very different than reality. This addiction to a fantasy world or alternate reality may be a result of unhappiness, chronic negativity, lack of self-esteem or inability to have a real world relationship.
Talking online allows that person to feel desired, sexy and connected, which in turn releases those “feel good” chemicals in the brain. The more that online interactions occur the more the brain wants that reward again, causing the cycle to continue and resulting in withdrawal from the real world and reliance on the virtual world found online.