Researchers have linked the number of ‘selfies’ posted by couples online to their likelihood of breaking up.
Researchers from Florida State University polled 420 users of popular photo-sharing app Instagram, examining their feelings about themselves and their relationships. The subjects were aged between 18 to 62.
Unsurprisingly the academics found a link between ‘body image satisfaction’ and a propensity to post ‘selfies’ (self-portraits, usually taken with a camera phone): people who felt happier with their looks were more likely to do so.
However, people who frequently posted self-portraits were also more likely than other subjects to row with their partners, while respondents whose partners did so were also more likely to argue with them about it. The affected couples were in turn more likely to be unfaithful, break up or divorce.
Jealousy may provoke such confrontations, the researchers suggested.
Assistant Professor Russell Clayton works in the university’s School of Communication. He said:
“Although we cannot directly assume cause and effect due to the correlational nature of this study, the results here show that body image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users’ romantic relationships, especially when users’ body image satisfaction is promoted in the form of Instagram selfie posts.”
The research was published in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.