Facebook Increases Jealousy in Relationships (by Ben Parr)

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We already know that Facebook can be an incredible tool for building and strengthening friendships and relationships. We also know that it can be a relationship buster. And now, a recent study makes the claim that “increased Facebook use significantly predicts Facebook-related jealousy” in romantic relationships.

The study, published in the CyberPsychology & Behavior Journal, analyzed the effect of Facebook use on the romantic relationships of college students. The report concludes that there is a “significant association between time spent on Facebook and jealousy-related feelings and behaviors experienced on Facebook.”

Is Facebook destroying our relationships?

An Overview of the Study

The research, conducted as part of a larger study on Facebook use by college students, identified items that could contribute to romantic jealousy. 308 respondents (skewed female, 231 to be exact) were then surveyed on if any of those factors were present. These include gems like “How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook? and “How likely are you to become jealous after your partner has added an unknown member of the opposite sex?”

The result? Specific factors make Facebook a breeding ground for relationship jealousy. The researchers identified four themes that contributed to jealousy on Facebook. They are as follows:

- Accessibility of information: Increased info about the interactions of significant others lead to increased monitoring and jealousy for 19.1% of participants

- Relationship jealousy: 16.2% of respondents were explicitly linked to Facebook use contributing to jealousy

- Facebook as an addiction: 10.3% of participants had major difficulty limiting the amount of time he or she looked at his or her partner’s Facebook profile.

- Lack of context: 7.4% of respondents referenced how Facebook can be ambiguous and that, without context, jealousy can be spurred over misunderstandings.
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