MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

Social Media Accounts Predict DivorceSocial data is a phenomenon that has only been around for about 10 to 15 years, but what we can already tell from it is rather fascinating (or scary, depending on your viewpoint). Take the rate with which people file for divorce or change their relationship status.

Recently, Adrien Friggeri of Facebook Data Science took a look at anonymous data posted by actual Facebook users and examined that for patterns to see if anything could be learned from the posting behaviors between two people. Here’s what he found.

When Love Goes South

“In this context,” Friggeri said, “we were interested in understanding the extent to which Facebook provides a platform for support from loved ones after a breakup. … To that end, we studied a group of people who were on the receiving end of a separation, i.e. who had been in a relationship for at least four weeks with someone who then switched their relationship status to ‘Single.'”

For every person in this group, FDS tracked a combination of the number of messages they sent and received, the number of posts from others on their timeline and the number of comments from others on their own content, Friggeri said. The period of time started a month before the separation and ended a month after.

“We observed a steady regime around the baseline before the day the relationship status changes, followed by a discontinuity on that day with a +225% increase of the average volume of interactions which then gradually stabilize over the course of a week to levels higher to those observed pre-breakup.”

When Love Builds

Similarly, FDS was able to tell some things about the Facebook interactions of people in steady relationships.

“Relationships start with a period of courtship,” explained Friggeri, adding that “on Facebook, messages are exchanged, profiles are visited, posts are shared on each other’s timelines.”

“We studied the group of people who changed their status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a relationship’ and also stated an anniversary date as the start of their relationship. During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple.”

Friggeri continued: “When the relationship starts (“day 0″), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.”

The Takeaways

While we may be at the ground floor of social data, it’s not implausible to think that Facebook and other social media sites can actually predict whether you’re getting ready to file the divorce papers.

This is because what happens to us in the real world has a tendency to show up more in the online world of social media, with increases in activity associated to both blossoming relationships and those on the brink of ending.

So if you notice problems in your relationship, such as the kind that could lead to divorce forms, turn to your own personal data and see what it has to say. It may not be right, but it could be insightful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top