Social media and relationships - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Social media and relationships

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(02/14/13) - The growing trend of social media has many distracted by technology. It's becoming such a problem for some, that they're cheating in their relationships.

Brett and LaTonda Anderson have been married for nearly 19 years. They see how Facebook and other social networking sites can damage relationships.

"I've also known friends that have gotten back intertangled with relationships as well and have been in current relationships at the current time, so it can be kind of dangerous," said Brett Anderson.

"They're not being honest and they're not being open about their true status," LaTonda said.

Zigmond Kozicki is a psychologist in Saginaw. He sees a number of married couples come into his practice who are spending more time on the Internet than with each other.

"I think people are lying on Facebook because they can get away with it, or they're misrepresenting themselves," he said.

We asked what the ways are to know that your spouse might be cheating on you on these social media sites.

"If a person feels that their emails or text messages or any other thing is so personal that they can't share it with intimate people that they're with, they have to ask themselves, is this the beginning of some kind of cheating?" he said.

"When you start to get secretive, I think that's when things start to fall apart," LaTonda said.

Zigmond says if someone is spending more time on the computer than with their spouse, that's a sign. The key to saving your relationship is finding a balance and always being honest. It's what has kept the Anderson's married for nearly two decades.

"I know who all his friends are, not that I'm probing, but I'll be looking and say 'oh, well, who is that?' 'Oh, this is such in such, and I haven't talked to them in a long time.' I know all of his friends on Facebook and he knows mine. I have nothing to hide and he has nothing to hide. I don't care if he has girls who are friends on Facebook. I'm not threatened by that," LaTonda said.

A survey by the American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers says 80 percent of divorce lawyers have reported a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence of cheating.

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