Is Social Media Breaking up Marriages? - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Is Social Media Breaking up Marriages?

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In recent years, the culture of relationships has changed in a big way. The 'digital age' has crept into every aspect of our lives. 

Wheeling Divorce Attorney Jo Lynne Nugent, of Sheehan & Nugent PLLC, has seen it happen right before her eyes.

"we are way too connected," Nugent said. It's a change in society that has turned into a problem ending many marriages.

"I remember a case in 2009 where somebody brought up something about Facebook," Nugent told 7News. "I didn't even know what that was."

That quickly changed, before she knew it, social media was everywhere.

"It was very rapid, let's just put it that way," Nugent said. "It was an explosion."

23 years after beginning her career in divorce work, Nugent deals with a whole slew of problems that many would have never imagined before social media came into play.

According to Nugent, the 'digital age' has turned us all into "private investigators" with access to cell phone records, email accounts, browser history and more.

"When I meet with clients, sometimes they will come in with all sorts of documentary evidence in piles, and a lot of it has to do with reams of paper that they have printed out," she said.

Not just emails, but photographs of Facebook and screen shots of text message conversations are being used as 'evidence' in divorce court.

Nugent says marriages are breaking up because social media has made it easy for people to connect with old flames.

"Years later, they are able to find these people, just usually out of curiosity but it expands into something that it shouldn't," Nugent said.

Relationships now start on a newsfeed and graduate to private messaging and then in-person meetings.

Nugent also said that social media is being used to air dirty laundry once these relationships hit the rocks. 

"Sometimes these things become very public, and embarrassing, and very difficult for the kids," she said.

As for advice, to keep your relationship out of a divorce lawyers office, Nugent advises you to spend less time on the computer, or smartphone, and more time with your significant other.