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Study says Twitter and divorce are related, but are they?

Our look at the role of the internet in divorce over the last week or two continues with this blog post, as a new study has been released saying that the use of Twitter is related to infidelity and divorce. That may not sound too surprising, but what will shock you is how flimsy the study actually is.

The study only selected people from its participant pool that used Twitter and that had a partner or former partner who used Twitter. They ended up with 514 participants, which is hardly a definitive look at how Twitter use and divorce relate to each another. And to top it all off, there was no control group. So the data is not comparable to anything.

At the same time, the findings of the study are quite weak. It found that Twitter use was related to the number of disputes a couple was having that related to Twitter, and that such disputes could lead to infidelity or divorce. It's not really earth-shaking stuff, and it's all being presented under the guise of a well-organized and thought out study.

Disputes between spouses happen all the time, and whether they are fueled by online disputes and online activity or not, these disputes could lead to divorce. Rarely does one dispute make a divorce. There usually has to be some history or some prolonged unhappiness between the spouses for a divorce to occur. Under these circumstances, divorce is a way for the unhappy spouses to move on with their lives after dealing with a stressful and difficult marriage.

Source: Slate, "Such Tweet Sorrow," Amanda Hess, April 8, 2014

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