YOUTH IN FOCUS: Dear lama, 

I would like to inquire one question to you regarding impact of social media. As we all know, a lot of people get divorce due to of Wechat, Facebook, Messenger, Skype etc.

What is the impact of social media acting as a source of divorce? I have seen lot of men and women get divorced due to misuse of advance technology. Could you share me little bit about this issue?

KD, Dagapela.

Well, social media is like the TV or internet. In itself, it is neither good nor bad. It purely depends on how we use it. I have not done any research on the affects of social media on the divorce rate, but I would guess that inappropriate use of Facebook, etc, has contributed to many marital breakups.

Actually, there are numerous ways that social media can create rifts in relationships. For example, someone might become uneasy if his or her partner is spending a lot of time chatting on line or spending hours reading other people’s personal posts. To avoid misunderstanding, it would be best to develop social media habits that engender trust, such as sharing passwords and using the media in full view of your partner. Basically, in the name of family harmony, social media use should be rooted in openness and transparency.

For a married person or someone in a long term relationship, regularly chatting with someone of the opposite sex on Wechat or Facebook etc is a huge error of judgment and can easily lead to a break-up. Basically, if you feel that it is inappropriate to hang-out with a person in real life, then it is also inappropriate to do so on-line.

In reality, we need to be fully aware that our deeds are not done in isolation but that everything we do has consequences. In this respect, it is really important for a parent to remember that a child needs a stable and loving environment to develop into a mature, caring and well-adjusted adult. If the home environment is marked with mistrust, suspicion and resentment, then our children will very likely grow up disturbed and insecure, which can lead to a number of behavioral issues.

In short, we cannot directly blame social media for an increase in divorce cases, but it can be argued that it is a contributing factor when misused. Like a car, social media can be extremely positive and empowering when used wisely, but it can be a weapon of destruction when abused. It is the operator that decides which it is to be.

Personally, I recommend that you pause and then check your motivation before engaging in a conversation or leaving a comment on a social media. Basically, you can ask yourself these questions: “Is my aim to benefit my family and others or is it purely to fulfill my personal wants and desires”. If you conclude that you are doing it just for yourself and that your action lacks concern for your family or others, then it should trigger loud alarm bells in your head. You are moving into a danger zone. Suffering will enviably follow if you proceed.

Social media is a very useful tool, but it needs to be used wisely.

Shenphen Zangpo was born in Swansea, UK, but spent more than 28 years practicing and studying Buddhism in Taiwan and Japan. Currently, he works with the youth and substance abusers in Bhutan, teaching meditation and organising drug outreach programmes.

Email to for any queries


Skip to toolbar