Bad news for social media junkies: Your Twitter use may be wrecking your relationship, according to a recent study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
We already know that Facebook use can lead to romantic conflicts, so researchers wanted to find out if other types of social media strain relationships, too. The study author created an online survey that asked 581 participants about their Twitter use; whether they had encountered a problem with a partner as a result of it; and whether Twitter activities had ever led to breakup or divorce, emotional cheating, or physical cheating.
Sadly for the social media lovers among us, they found that people who are highly active on Twitter are more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict in their relationships than less active users, and that the activity can then lead to cheating, splits, and even divorce. Plus, it doesn't matter how long a couple has been dating; Twitter use and tweet-related conflicts affected long-term and short-term couples alike.
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So how could seemingly harmless tweets rock the boat in your relationship? Researchers say that information visabilityÃ¢â‚¬”or the ease with which we can check up on our partners, our exes, and the people they interact withÃ¢â‚¬”could lead to jealousy and insecurity, which never bodes well for a bond. Plus, if we're spending all our time staring at our Twitter feed and crafting the perfect 140-character response to last night's Scandal episode, we probably aren't paying enough attention to what's going on around us, including our partners.
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It's important to keep in mind, though, that the survey for the study was sent out via Twitter, and since the survey asked participants to evaluate their own behavior, it's hard to say exactly how accurate the stats are. What seems like active Twitter use to one person may seem like nothing compared to someone else who spends hours each day online, so it may not be generalizable to all couples. Still, it's never a bad idea to take a step back from social media and focus on your partnerÃ¢â‚¬”or yourselfÃ¢â‚¬”every now and then. Check out our tips to make sure social media doesn't wreck your relationship, and if all else fails, just go on a Twitter hiatus for a while. We promise, it'll still be there when you get back.
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