The paper comprehensively analyzes the negative impacts social media has on romantic relationships. The contemporary world has been characterized by the use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, among others, with Facebook being the most prevalent among users. With an approximate of 2.5 billion active subscribers – Facebook has transformed the way people access information and interact globally. This increase in information and interaction negatively impacts romantic relationships – either married or in committed relationships. Previous studies associate the adverse effects on the feelings of increased jealousy among partners, mistrust, insecurity, and lack of satisfaction. The research and literature review analysis extensively examine how Facebook is responsible for the negative impacts on romantic relationships.
In-depth Analysis of Literature Review
The previous studies find extensive data and empirical evidence to support the context in which the vast use of Facebook is associated with the feelings of jealousy in romantic relationships. In an online survey involving 308 undergraduate students (Muise et al., 2009, 441) “revealed that increased Facebook use significantly predicts Facebook-related jealousy.” This is based on the extensive exposure that Facebook creates for the people in romantic relationships to “ambiguous information about their partners that they may not other have access to if Facebook was unavailable” (Muise et al., 2009, 441). The information causes incitements that are unhealthy to relationships causing unprecedented jealousy in romantic relationships (Yacoub et al., 2018, 53). Thus, induce adverse effects on romantic relationships as a result of Social Network Site Intrusion (SNSI) eroding the level of relationship satisfaction.
In a study conducted by Tromholt et al. (2015) involving 1095 people, the results show that “94 percent of the population visits Facebook as part of a daily routine.” Seventy-eight percent of Facebook users among the population use the platform thirty minutes or more on a daily basis. This is characterized by 69 percent preferring to post pictures of the great things they experience. The impacts of such Facebook usages on romantic relationships are adverse. Tromholt et al. (2015) on the Happiness Research Institute indicate that the vast majority of Facebook users are fifty-five percent more likely to feel stressed than those who are not on Facebook. This adverse effect takes a toll on romantic relationships due to the exposure of ambiguous information that leads to a lack of satisfaction among partners (Tromholt et al., 2015). In every ten people, five people envy the ‘amazing’ experiences and life of others posted on Facebook, prompting the desire to have the same and push for similar threats in their relationships. One out of every three people envy how ‘happy’ other Facebook users seem to be, and four of every ten people envy the success of others posted on Facebook. Thus, such tendencies culminate in the likelihood of conflicts in romantic relationships as partners push for similar progress, success, and happiness, as illustrated on Facebook (Muesi et al., 2009).
According to Lenhart and Duggan (2014), “66 percent of adults – married of in committed relationships have access to the internet, cell phones, and social media.” This increased access to diverse information on the partners’ exposure to romantic relationships to potential cracks and conflicts (Muesi et al., 2009). Yacoub et al. (2018) assert that extensive exposure and ease of access to mistreatments from their partners, increasing the chances of distrust, infidelity, jealousy, and resentments escalate. In turn, communication breakdown with partners neglecting to attend to the feelings of each other. The increased time spent browsing and scrolling through Facebook is a profound cause of adverse effects among romantic partners (Tromholt et al., 2015). Thus, erode the quality of relationships and trust among partners (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014).
Lenhart and Duggan (2014) find trends, and the phenomenon experienced in Facebook threatens the very fabric of relationships. For example, sexting between partners increases the risk of exposure to such information. The context and nature of sharing light moments and flirting with other people may prompt adverse severe effects and mistrust in romantic relationships. The aspects of admiring and enjoying conversations and flirting with other people cause considerable rifts in a romantic relationship. Marshall (2012) examines the aspect of maintaining continued contact and exposure to the ex-partner as a profound cause of adverse implications on the current and future romantic relations. According to Marshall (2012, 521), “the exposure to an ex-partner may inhibit the process of healing and move on from the past relationship.” This is facilitated by the availability and access to Facebook, allowing people to keep track of the ex-partner’s whereabouts and developments (aware or not) inducing adverse effects on the individual’s relationship capacity.
Marshall (2012) examines a study of 464 participants, which “reveal that Facebook surveillance is a major cause of distress over breakup distress, induces more negative feelings, and lowers personal growth” (521). This posits the difficulties of moving on and sustaining current and future relationships that an individual may engage after the breakup. Such tendencies are possible due to the unlimited opportunities that Facebook creates on access to vast information among its users. The past and history of an individual have a likelihood of creating negative feelings of jealousy and insecurity among partners. Thus, conform to the reality outlined by vast studies and research analysis on the adverse effects of social media on romantic relationships (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014; Marshall, 2012; Muise et al., 2009; Tromholt et al., 2015; Yacoub et al., 2017).
Change in Norms, Practices, and Values of those Affected
According to Muise (2009) present that the use of social media has been a significant influencer to the personalities and experiences of individuals in a romantic relationship. For example, the prevalence of imagined situations that characterize a partner’s infidelity has induced a norm of mistrust and jealousy among affected persons in romantic relationships. The affected persons are bound to suffer low self-esteem and insecurity. Also, the feeling of uncertainties and doubt is bound to prevail among partners making it impossible to agree on any issue as a couple. Yacoub et al. (2018) present the change in norms and values in a romantic relationship to be highly eroded, establishing an environment where social interactions are impossible.
Yacoub et al. (2018, 54) state a change in the nature and context of relationships is impacted upon leading to “couples, especially women, to be more open about their relationship problems on their social networks and not with their partners.” This is a change in the norm and practice where couples are expected to discuss issues in their relationship with their significant others. Instead, social networks create an opportunity for women to break from the norm and practice more engagements with other people (strangers at times) more actively than their partners. In turn, relationships become more and more diluted in meaning and purpose. Hence, it leads to the reduction of happiness among people who frequent Facebook and use it for various reasons (Tromholt et al., 2015).
The concerns on the causes of depression, anxiety and bullying affect relations remain to be extensively exploited by the articles. The question of bullying impacts on romantic relationships negatively but has not been researched extensively. This is critical to assess the impact of other people on your own relationship. Being depressed due to the effects of using Facebook results from a myriad of issues. These include romantic and non-romantic issues that induce negative effects. The fact that social media affects you negatively induces adverse ripple effects towards your relationship as it inhibits your potential towards being the best self for your spouse.
Also, analysis of time spending is essential to determine the negative effects of social media on romantic relationships. This can be attained by assessing the amount of time spent online on social media sites at the expense of spending quality time with your significant other. The aspect of time allocation and usage affects how one response to attention and care concerns. The capacity to show care and concern towards the significant other is fundamental to assure your love and gratitude towards your partner. This is fundamental to induce positive impacts on a relationship. Thus, transform adverse effects potential into a positive – or an opportunity to save your relationship.
Holes Found in the Relevant Research
The research indicates tendencies to further understand the aspect of trust as related to the use of Facebook and the adverse effects it creates on romantic relationships. The capacity to maintain positivism towards trust in the relationship is fundamental to resolving the negative effects created on romantic relationships. The prevalence of trust is critical to resolving the aspect of jealousy and insecurity among couples. Despite the use of social media – trust can be built among couples to ensure that they save their relationship. For example, sharing of passwords and being less concerned and take to heart what your partner does online on the social network sites is fundamental. This has the potential to result in minimizing or eliminating hostilities in romantic relationships. Trust is critical to resolve conflicts and seal resentments among partners. Thus, it leads to stability in romantic relationships with improving the status of the couples, and they relate to each other.
In conclusion, the articles find the prevalence among romantic partners to cause negative effects in their relationship profoundly. The adverse effects are associated with feelings of jealousy, anxiety, resentment, unwarranted judgment, distrust, and insecurities. The insecurities and aspects of jealousy are a result of the availability of ambiguous information that may wrongly accuse them. The ambiguous information leads to tendencies in which people act upon nonfactual data that posit negativity regarding the partners. The vast posting of a better life and the extent of envy negatively affect the desires of people who desire similar contexts. Thus, couples should be cautious with the use of Facebook, the time they spend online, and avoid being distrustful towards their partners.
Lenhart, A., & Duggan, M. (2014). Couples, the internet, and social media. Pew research center.
Marshall, T. C. (2012). Facebook surveillance of former romantic partners: Associations with post-breakup recovery and personal growth. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and social networking, 15(10), 521-526.
Muise, A., Christofides, E., & Desmarais, S. (2009). More information than you ever wanted: Does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy?. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 441-444.
Tromholt, M., Lundby, M., Andsbjerg, K. & Wiking, M. (2015). The Facebook Experiment: Does Social Media Affect the Quality of Our Lives? The Happiness Research Institute.
Yacoub, C., Spoede, J., Cutting, R., & Hawley, D. (2017). The Impact of Social Media on Romantic Relationships.