Relationships are changing just like the rest of the world, and technology is at the center of all that change. We’re now seeing people turn to online dating sites instead of meeting their “one” in the supermarket. We have the ability to keep in touch with everyone from our past via social media, and we have a huge ongoing stream of information being thrown our way at all times.
We have smartphones that have been said to be a detrimental to our relationships. Facebook use has been linked to unhappy relationships and cheating, and the latest study says Twitter use could be a problem in our relationships as well. A study done by researcher Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that conflict in our relationships can be brought up due to Twitter use.
The study details:
- 581 Twitter users were surveyed
- Users of all ages participated
- Survey asked Twitter use questions including how often they log on, scroll, tweet, and direct-message users
- Survey asked participants how much conflict they have in their relationship specifically related to Twitter use
The study results:
After sifting through all the answers, lead researcher Clayton found that the more often it was reported on the survey that the participant was active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner. This related conflict significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce.
What does this mean?
As we see more and more immediate connections happening and an ability to be lost behind the screen more and more, we’re forgetting to nurture our IRL relationships. Social media can leave a lot of hurt feelings in a relationship if one or both partners feels like they’re not having their needs met or they’re being ignored due to social media. Clayton recommends that all users pay attention to their social media use, and if it’s causing conflict in your relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate your habits.
Have you had any conflict in your relationship due to social media or smartphone use?
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos
Study: “The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce”; Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and four kids. No, those aren’t her kids real names – they’re online pseudonyms. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” byDevan on Facebook!