Could Facebook Ruin Your Marriage?

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Could Facebook Ruin Your Marriage?

Could Facebook Ruin Your Marriage?A few head­lines caught my eye recently regard­ing Face­book and its role in mar­riage prob­lems. The first arti­cle defined the prob­lem of “phub­bing.” This is where cou­ples neglect one another for social media. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, 46% of peo­ple com­plained that their sig­nif­i­cant other snubbed them for social media or their phone.

The sec­ond was an arti­cle by Saman­tha Yule in The Mir­ror: “Face­book now crops up in a third of divorce cases over cheat­ing and old flames.

Yule reports that many mar­ried peo­ple get in touch with old flames through Face­book. Worse, peo­ple tend to por­tray the best of them­selves on Face­book when the real­ity of their sit­u­a­tion may not be so great.

The third was from CNN by Ian Kerner: “E-​motional affairs: How Face­book leads to infi­delity.” Kerner does an excel­lent job of list­ing the fac­tors that lead peo­ple down the road of infi­delity by the door of Face­book. He encour­ages peo­ple not to “roman­ti­cize the past,” “don’t keep secrets,” “Face­book friends can be more pow­er­ful than porn,” and he sug­gests that if the temp­ta­tion is too great, get off Facebook.

His arti­cle hits a lot of great points. I’ve coun­seled a lot of fallen pas­tors in the past few years who were able to carry on an emo­tional rela­tion­ship with some­one online that got out of hand and even­tu­ally turned physical.

A dis­claimer, though. Is Face­book the moral evil? No, it’s not. And I don’t think Kerner or Yule would say that it is either. Any type of tech­nol­ogy we engage in can be used for good or evil. When our lusts and sin get out of check, we can find our­selves in dan­ger­ous and deep waters. We could just as eas­ily be talk­ing about Twit­ter, Snapchat, Insta­gram or tex­ting.


We have to remem­ber that social media is not a reflec­tion of peo­ple as they are. It is a reflec­tion of how we want oth­ers to see us.


There are two things I’d add to the pre­vi­ous authors’ obser­va­tions. First, most of the things we are fed elec­tron­i­cally these days are built on the premise of addic­tion. We like things because they’re easy and fun. We keep click­ing the but­ton to see more. Some like social media to unwind after a long day and for some, it’s their means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It can become a prob­lem when we begin to cross lines of moral­ity in the vir­tual world with real peo­ple that we would never cross with them face to face. We have to keep our hearts in check.

Happy Family Hugging Each OtherSec­ondly, I’d also add that what we see of peo­ple on Face­book, Insta­gram, Snapchat and other media are the best of what they have to offer. It’s easy for a per­son to look back at some­one they knew in high school on Face­book and say, “Wow, they have it all together. Look at their wife, their new house, their new job.

Well, yeah. Because we typ­i­cally post only the most flat­ter­ing things about our­selves. We post the high points in our lives. The vaca­tion shots, the per­fectly posi­tioned self­ies, the shots of us in the clothes we look good in. We don’t post the pic­ture of our­selves after we’ve first got­ten up in the morn­ing. Or after we’ve got­ten mad at our pre­cious child for leav­ing their back­pack that we tripped over in the floor (for the bil­lionth time) and we yelled at them.

We have to remem­ber that social media is not a reflec­tion of peo­ple as they are, typ­i­cally. It is a reflec­tion of how we want oth­ers to see us.

Is Face­book ruin­ing mar­riages? Face­book is a com­plex pro­gram that we are able to access and if we are not care­ful, allow it to con­sume us. Worse, we can use it to pro­pel our sin­ful desires for­ward into inap­pro­pri­ate behaviors.

I can tell you this. It’s not the basis for judg­ing someone’s soul. And it’s def­i­nitely not a dat­ing ser­vice for mar­ried people.

(But hey, have you messed up in this area? Are you a pas­tor, church leader? I’m here to help with­out judg­ment. Con­tact info is below.)

_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​

Ray Car­roll is the author of “Fallen Pas­tor: Find­ing Restora­tion in a Bro­ken World,” which answers many of the ques­tions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pas­tor who needs to talk or you are some­one who has been affected by a fallen pas­tor and would like to con­tact me pri­vately, please click here. You are the main rea­son this min­istry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, asso­ci­a­tion, con­fer­ence, or news out­let and would like more infor­ma­tion about this min­istry, please click here.

Could Facebook Ruin Your Marriage?A few headlines caught my eye recently regarding Facebook and its role in marriage problems. The first article defined the problem of “phubbing.” This is where couples neglect one another for social media. According to the article, 46% of people complained that their significant other snubbed them for social media or their phone.

The second was an article by Samantha Yule in The Mirror: “Facebook now crops up in a third of divorce cases over cheating and old flames.

Yule reports that many married people get in touch with old flames through Facebook. Worse, people tend to portray the best of themselves on Facebook when the reality of their situation may not be so great.

The third was from CNN by Ian Kerner: “E-motional affairs: How Facebook leads to infidelity.” Kerner does an excellent job of listing the factors that lead people down the road of infidelity by the door of Facebook.  He encourages people not to “romanticize the past,” “don’t keep secrets,” “Facebook friends can be more powerful than porn,” and he suggests that if the temptation is too great, get off Facebook.

His article hits a lot of great points. I’ve counseled a lot of fallen pastors in the past few years who were able to carry on an emotional relationship with someone online that got out of hand and eventually turned physical.

A disclaimer, though. Is Facebook the moral evil? No, it’s not. And I don’t think Kerner or Yule would say that it is either. Any type of technology we engage in can be used for good or evil. When our lusts and sin get out of check, we can find ourselves in dangerous and deep waters. We could just as easily be talking about Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or texting.


We have to remember that social media is not a reflection of people as they are. It is a reflection of how we want others to see us.


There are two things I’d add to the previous authors’ observations. First, most of the things we are fed electronically these days are built on the premise of addiction. We like things because they’re easy and fun. We keep clicking the button to see more. Some like social media to unwind after a long day and for some, it’s their means of communication. It can become a problem when we begin to cross lines of morality in the virtual world with real people that we would never cross with them face to face. We have to keep our hearts in check.

Happy Family Hugging Each OtherSecondly, I’d also add that what we see of people on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other media are the best of what they have to offer. It’s easy for a person to look back at someone they knew in high school on Facebook and say, “Wow, they have it all together. Look at their wife, their new house, their new job.

Well, yeah. Because we typically post only the most flattering things about ourselves. We post the high points in our lives. The vacation shots, the perfectly positioned selfies, the shots of us in the clothes we look good in. We don’t post the picture of ourselves after we’ve first gotten up in the morning. Or after we’ve gotten mad at our precious child for leaving their backpack that we tripped over in the floor (for the billionth time) and we yelled at them.

We have to remember that social media is not a reflection of people as they are, typically. It is a reflection of how we want others to see us.

Is Facebook ruining marriages? Facebook is a complex program that we are able to access and if we are not careful, allow it to consume us. Worse, we can use it to propel our sinful desires forward into inappropriate behaviors.

I can tell you this. It’s not the basis for judging someone’s soul. And it’s definitely not a dating service for married people.

(But hey, have you messed up in this area? Are you a pastor, church leader? I’m here to help without judgment. Contact info is below.)

____________________________

Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.

 

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