Excessive Facebook use can lead to troubles in new relationships, research paper Cheating, Breakup, and Divorce: Is Facebook Use to Blame? claims. The study was published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking journal.
Facebook use is claimed to lead to negative relationship outcomes, such as breakups, emotional or physical cheating.
Study’s co-author, doctoral student Jessica Smith decided to work on the project as she witnessed her own friends arguing over Facebook. This included jealousy over past romantic partners or spending too much time on the site.
“Younger relationships are more susceptible,” she said. “With Facebook being added to the equation, it makes it even worse.”
Jessica Smith is hoping to earn her doctorate in marriage and family therapy by 2015 and use the findings to warn couples of the dark side of social media.
Ray Lopez, a University of Texas at San Antonio psychology lecturer, said that the conclusions from the research are in line with other findings.
“We can go online now and, within a matter of hours, we can develop intimate relationships with one or more people,” Lopez said. “We can’t be intimate with everybody. … We’re dumping a lot of our energy, our intimacy into our online relationships and fundamentally ignoring our offline relationships.”
Lopez advises couples to communicate. “If one member of a young couple notices another member on Facebook a lot, they need to talk about it because it can be potentially very dangerous,” he said.
The researchers created a 16-question online survey, which asked respondents about their Facebook use and conflicts resulting from it. Participants answered questions on how often they argue with their partners due to excessive Facebook use.