Why You Shouldn't Trust Facebook Posts About 'Amazing' Relationships

Why You Shouldn't Trust Facebook Posts About 'Amazing' Relationships

Sorry about this, but there's a new study out that will probably make those who are already unsure about their relationships feel even worse.

People in relationships post more about their significant other on Facebook on days when they feel "more insecure about their partner's feelings" than normal, according to a study published recently in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

A group of researchers led by Lydia Emery, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, surveyed 108 straight couples at a small university in Canada. The scientists asked each partner to keep their own daily diary for two weeks, writing down how they felt their relationship was going every day. Then they looked at how each participant publicly interacted with their sweetheart on Facebook, tallying up any wall posts, status updates and photo comments made between the couple. The research team saw an uptick in interactions when one partner felt down about his or her relationship.

facebook relationships
Things may or may not be going well between Rihanna and my colleague Maxwell.

In recent years, there's been a flurry of research examining how romance blossoms and wilts on Facebook, perhaps because people are worried that the social network is ruining romance. It's true that Facebook has so much information on you that its data scientists can predict with scary accuracy whether or not your relationship is a fling or the real deal.

So why do people post more about their partners when they feel like things are rocky? To validate themselves in front of their friends? To remind their partner that they exist?

Whatever is the case, know this: If you're going to post a lot about your relationship, you probably will irritate the hell out of all of your Facebook friends.

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