Could it be possible that getting hooked to Facebook could affect your romantic relationship? A recent research suggests that it could be. The study conducted by researchers Alexander Nagurney, Jessica Smith, and Russell Clayton looked into possible effects of Facebook use in interpersonal relationships.
Nagurney is affiliated with the University of Hawaii’s Department of Psychology. Smith is currently associated with San Antonio, Texas-based St. Mary’s University particularly with the Department of Marriage and Family. Meanwhile, Clayton is currently with the University of Missouri- Columbia.
The study tapped a poll of 205 regular Facebook users. Their ages range from 18 years old to 92 years old. The research used an online survey with 16 questions. It was primarily designed to examine whether frequent use of the social networking site could possibly bear negative relationship consequences. Those outcomes may include emotional and physical cheating and possible breakup or divorce.
Findings of the study indicated that high level of Facebook usage could be associated with negative outcomes in relationships. Thus, it was inferred that those relationships are mediated by conflicts that could be related or cited to the use of the social media.
The research is calling for further research that should probe into the possibility of Facebook usage being a cause of rising divorce rate and physical or emotional cheating. The study did not specify whether the negative effects are prevalent among women or among men.
Conflicts from FB use
The study came up with the hypothesis that people with higher level of regular Facebook usage could demonstrate more negative relationship results than those with lower usage of the online site. The research aimed to analyze if those relationships were affected by conflicts related to Facebook use.
Furthermore, the research considered the length of affected relationships as an important moderator variable. Call it silver lining or an alarming information, but the same study has found that those relationships that are more likely to be affected by Facebook usage are those that are relatively newer relationships. In general, those could be 3-year-old relationships or less.
This study is the latest addition to an amassing body of literature that investigates Internet usage and its effects to relationships. Many researchers have readily believed that the use of social media could somehow alter human relationships. The period of the research was not clearly indicated.