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Should Social Media Be Blamed for Rising Divorce?
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2015-7-7-
Title: Should Social Media Be Blamed for Rising Divorce?
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Keyword: social media, rising divorce, Chinese couples, marriage

A recent report by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs reveals that the number of couples getting divorced in the country hit 3.64 million in 2014 and the divorce rate has increased for 12 consecutive years since 2003.

The capital Beijing took the lead across the country with more than 55,000 couples making the split.

The news has sparked heated discussion online. Some said with the utilitarianism of social values, marriage is also faced with a utilitarian challenge; others said that the younger generation's weak sense of family value is behind the growing numbers.

Lu Mingsheng, an expert at the Academy of Marriage and Family under the China Law Society said that rising extramarital affairs have led to the increase in divorce whilst social media, such as WeChat and Momo (two popular mobile chat apps), have become "the new killers" of marriages when couples have marital problems.

It is undeniable that with the development of the economical society and the invasion of foreign culture, some people will develop more liberal and open ideas, which attack traditional ethnic and family values.

However, loss of affection is still the primary cause for divorces while other issues, such as intense life and work pressure and the overuse of social media, are just secondary. As long as the husband and wife make a concerted effort, those issues will fail to pose big challenges to their marriage.

Some experts said so-called "fake divorces", where couples part to get around restrictions on purchasing property or to enroll their children in particular schools and then remarry, have also pushed up the figures.

To conclude that such games generate significant marital crises would just be making a mountain out of a molehill.

A loving family is a happy one, whilst a loveless family is quite miserable. In this open society, outdated ethical standards should not be used to judge modern marital relations, as they go against the times.

People should treat the increase in divorces with a normal state of mind. Once a couple has no affection and decides to part, it is useless to increase the difficulty and complexity of divorce procedures, as has been proposed.

For instance, the United States features more complicated divorce procedures than China, but its divorce rate is higher and even the highest in the world.

Since China carried out the reform and opening-up policy in 1978, the country has undergone dramatic changes in economy, society, culture and other aspects. As a "social cell," the family inevitably has suffered its own challenges.

A marriage requires both sides to shoulder marital responsibilities and manage their family hand-in-hand.

Anyhow, only the husband and wife are protagonists in a marriage. The ups and downs of their married life are their own business, and onlookers should perhaps mind their own.

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