From emotional and physical cheating to break-up and divorce, researchers found ‘Facebook-induced jealousy’ significantly increased the risks for couples of all ages.
Research found that conflict was much more likely to occur when the website was used excessively, because some people tended to jealously monitor their partner’s activity or even to reconnect with ex-partners.
The study, led by Dr Russell Clayton, of the University of Missouri, U.S., surveyed Facebook users aged between 18 and 82, asking them how much they used the social network and how often they had bust-ups with their partners – past or present – that had been ignited by the site.
Dr Clayton said: ‘Previous 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.
‘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.’
According to the study, published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, couples who are just starting out should consider staying away from the site.
Dr Clayton explained: ‘The findings held only for couples who had been in relationships of three years or less.
‘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 way to learn about someone, excessive Facebook use may be damaging to newer romantic relationships.
‘Cutting back to moderate, healthy levels of Facebook usage could help reduce conflict, particularly for newer couples who are still learning about each other.’
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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