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Literature Review: Social Media and its effects on Romantic Relationships

It is in our nature to love and want to be loved. We dream of one day bumping into
someone who will accept us for our imperfections and consume us with unconditional love. Many
adults have turned to social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter and dating sites, to pursue their
search for this love. These sites allow its users to create a profile, upload photos, create posts and
be a click away from finding their soul mate. With social media being easy to use, many couples
have begun to display their relationship to the public. These posts range from couple photos,
anniversary notes, relationship complications, dramatic posts, to break ups. The growing use of
social media sites by relationship partners have negatively affected relationships by inducing
individuals into stalkers behaviors that result to jealousy and a desire for relationship security.
Trends in research show that individuals in a relationship that spend most of their time on Facebook
increase their chances of engaging in stalkerish behavior towards their romantic partner, resulting
in jealousy.
Stalkerish behaviors on social network sites, may involve constantly viewing a person's
profile, posts, pictures and keeping up with current events in their lives. In a study of 209
participants, 50.9 percent revealed that they have participated in cyber obsessive behavior that
resulted in feeling jealous over what they viewed on their partners page. (College Students
facebook stalking of ex partners, Amy Lyndon) This study is supported by the findings from the
article, Time to Face It! Facebook Intrusion and the Implications for Romantic Jealousy and
Relationship Satisfaction. In the article, Elphinston and Noeller studied the complexity of romantic
relationships in relation to Facebook. They conducted an eight question questionnaire and surveyed
342 undergraduate students from an Australian University. They sought to discover the potential

of Facebook intrusion spilling over to increase jealousy in romantic relationships. They discovered
that the more time an individual spent on Facebook increases the likelihood of feeling threaten by a
third party in regards to their relationship. This behavior led to Facebook attachment as individual
sought to ensure that their significant partner was not communicating intimately with a third party.
These individuals became emotionally and physically attached to their partners Facebook page by
posting on their timelines to eliminate the competition. This study provides the knowledge that one
should not allow the use of Facebook to dominate their relationship
Another perspective on this is Amy Muises article, Does Facebook Bring out the Green-Eyed
Monster of Jealousy? She informs that the Exposure to information about a romantic partners
friends and social interactions may result in an environment that enhances jealousy. This article
revealed that individuals in a relationship are likely to become affected by a post made by their
partners friend. As individuals yearn for relationship security, they are eager to discover lies, and
information concerning their partner. (Coyne, S.M, &Merkle, E.R) These finding entices further
Facebook usage and create drama among relationship partners and a third party. To decrease this,
individuals should inform their friends of their relationship status so they care not caught in the mix
of sharing flirtatious posts, pictures or past secrets that may be detrimental to the survival of their
current relationship.
In support of stalkerish behavior that may lead to jealousy stems an internal issue; low selfesteem. In a study by Utz and Beukeboom, they aimed to show that individuals who demonstrated
lower self-esteem had a desire to obtain popularity on Facebook in order to feel content in their
relationship. These individuals encouraged the idea of their romantic partner posting pictures of
them or posts concerning their relationship (Don J.E).This gave them a sense of value and
appreciation.

As social media sites, such as Facebook dominates relationships, individuals seek to find
relationship security and satisfaction with their significant other. Continual studies aims at
uncovering how relationships are being destroyed by SNS. Some things that continue to be studied
are jealousy, cyber-possessive behavior, relationship happiness and online dating. The use of social
media has a negative effect on romantic relationship through the means of jealousy, and stalkerish
behavior. which supports that romantic partners need to build their relationship trust, love and
acceptance of each other. They need to determine what is meant to be shared and what is meant
to be kept private .Distinguishing between the two will help save relationships that are heading
downhill due to post discoveries.(Larry R.)