It seems like the publicly intimate couples you see on Facebook clogging the Newsfeed with their happy pictures may be doing something right. There is now scientific evidence published in the July 2013 issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science which suggests that couples who post about their relationships on Facebook on a regular basis are actually happier than those who don’t.
While it has always been unofficially argued that couples indulging in this practice suffer from low self-esteem issues and the need to overcompensate, according to the research team from UCSF’s Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine, being public is actually a good thing. Led by Laura R Saslow, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine, the research was conducted in three parts with a group of married Facebook users above the age of 18.
An increased number of relationship related posts on Facebook is a good indicator of a happy relationship, suggests a study…
The first test revolved around people who often posted a picture of themselves and their spouse as their Facebook profile picture. The result showed that couples doing so were likely to report being happy in their relationship.
The second one was done to test the level of marital satisfaction and closeness with their spouses. The test result showed that participants were more likely to have a higher level of marital satisfaction with their spouse if they had posted a profile picture of themselves together in the last year.
The third test conducted by the researchers was to find out about the number of times the participants were likely to post something on their spouse’s wall. It was found that participants were more likely to post on their spouse’s wall on days when they were feeling particularly happy about the way their relationship was going.
In an interview with Canada.com, the co-author of this study, Amy Muise said “It makes sense that someone who’s happier with their life would post these kinds of pictures to show off their relationship. But general life satisfaction and personality traits couldn’t account for our findings.”
However, users should be wary of excessive general Facebooking as it could be bad for a relationship, according to research from the University of Missouri-Columbia. According to Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University who did the study, Facebook can lead to an induced amount of jealousy, which can lead to differences between partners. His study pointed out that excessive Facebook users were more likely to connect or reconnect with previous partners, which could lead to possible emotional and physical cheating.
While both studies talk about excessive Facebook habits, both as an individual and as a couple, it would seem that Facebook users need to strike a delicate balance if they want to express their emotions on the social networking platform. How that balance can be gained, will have to differ from person to person.