As reported yesterday, a study by the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, finds that Facebook is the cause of jealousy in relationships – and may make it harder to move on when relationships fail.
The study, published in 2009, is called “More Information than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook Bring Out the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy?” The study surveyed 308 Facebook users all between the ages of 17 and 24. At the time of the survey, about half described themselves as being in a serious relationship.
“Facebook gives people access to information about their partner that may otherwise not be accessible,” Amy Muise is quoted as saying, in a press release about the study released by the University. Amy was a PhD student in psychology who conducted the study with student colleague Emily Christofides. The research was overseen by psychology professor Serge Desmarais.
“This may include details about their partner’s friendships and social exchanges, especially interactions with previous romantic or sexual partners,” Muise said.
Some findings of the controlled study include:
- ~75% surveyed said they had previous romantic or sexual partners as Friends on FB
- ~80% reported that their partner also had previous partners as Friends
- It was verified that there was a specific link between use of FB and increased feelings of jealousy
- It was also verified that greater use of FB tended to lead to more intense feelings of jealousy
“In the past, people in romantic or sexual relationships were not, for the most part, subjected to daily scrutiny of their social exchanges by their partner,” Desmarias is quoted as saying. “But this is the new reality for some; aspects of their lives that were once private are now open for all to see.”
In yesterday’s news story covering the study, Dr. Howard Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Denver who is sometimes referred to as “Dr. Love” by colleagues, advises that face-to-face communications is critical to overcoming feelings of jealousy which may arise from the use of Facebook or any other social media forum.