Add an old friend on Facebook, update a status or two, post a picture of your dinner… it seems so harmless.
However, new research shows that using Facebook could actually be damaging your romantic relationship. Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that people who use Facebook a little too much are more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their partners. Some issues may even include emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.
Clayton surveyed Facebook users ages 18 to 82 years old. He found that, “research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy,” says Clayton.
“Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating.”
I guess even if you aren’t adding previous lovers on Facebook, one may always wonder. But with this generation so obsessed with social media, would removing yourself from one site, to help improve your relationship, be that bad?
Research has found that newer relationships suffer the most. “These findings held only for couples who had been in relationships of three years or less,” says Clayton.
“This suggests that Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured. On the other hand, participants who have been in relationships for longer than three years may not use Facebook as often, or may have more matured relationships, and therefore Facebook use may not be a threat or concern.”
Although Facebook is a great tool to get in touch with old friends, and to interact with your circle of loved ones, sometimes people use it too much. I personally check Facebook probably 10 times a day, is there a need to? No. Cutting back to a more healthy level of Facebook usage could be better for you and your relationship, especially for newer couples.