Facebook Posts About Relationships Linked To Greater Marital Happiness, Study Finds

What That Profile Pic With Your PartnerMeans

Those annoying people in your Facebook newsfeed who post pictures of themselves and their partner on what seems like an hourly basis may actually have something going for them.

New research out of UCSF, published in the July 2013 issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that people who post about their relationship on Facebook report being more satisfied and secure in their marriages than those who do not.

It may seem obvious that people who are happy in their relationships will post about them more often, but now we have some scientific evidence of the connection -- and a possible answer to the argument that they're overcompensating or just looking for a self-esteem boost.

The research team, led by Laura R. Saslow a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at UCSF's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, conducted three experiments among married Facebook users over the age of 18. The first experiment showed that those who often posted a picture of themselves and their spouse as their Facebook profile picture were more likely to report being happy in their relationship. The second experiment indicated that participants who reported higher levels of marital satisfaction and closeness with their partner were much more likely to have posted a profile picture that featured their spouse in the last year. And the third experiment found that participants were more likely to post information about their relationship on Facebook on days when they were feeling particularly satisfied with their marriage.

“It makes sense that someone who’s happier with their life would post these kinds of pictures to show off their relationship,” said study co-author Amy Muise in an interview for Canada.com. “But general life satisfaction and personality traits couldn’t account for our findings.”

While posting couple-y pictures may indicate happiness, general Facebook activity isn't always a good thing when it comes to your relationship. New research from the University of Missouri-Columbia found that "individuals who use Facebook excessively are far more likely to experience Facebook–related conflict with their romantic partners."

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