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Psychology of Facebook Couples who Make you Sick

Psychology of Facebook Couples who Make you Sick

By Doctor Date (404 words)
Posted in Dating Tips on July 20, 2015

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You know those Facebook couples who make you sick, posting some sort of melodramatic overly-romantic, over-the-top drivel that’s keeping you from funny injuries and pictures of kittens? Well psychologists have broken down what makes these people tick. First, it’s important to notice the sheer amount of knowledge Facebook knows about its user’s love lives. Facebook is aware of when two people get together and when they come apart.

Albright College researchers found that those who are shouting their love from the rooftops more often than others have their confidence closely tied with their significant other, and the status of their relationship. Psychologists call this relationship-contingent self-esteem. Participants in this study, a small number, were all in romantic relationships where they had been together with their significant other from one to 30 years.  Next their Facebook habits were tracked. Researchers kept tabs on how often they posted photos and how often they posted on their lover’s page. A self-reporting personality test was then administered to each participant. The “Big Five” traits, those that often predict romantic success were assessed. These are “extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.” Those with relationship-contingent self-esteem (RCSE) had more anxiety and lower overall self-esteem researchers discovered.

RCSE suffers seek validation through Likes on Facebook and other social media sites. Making little things “Facebook Official” is another classic move. Gwendolyn Seidman lead author of the study told The Atlantic via email, “Those high in RCSE feel the need to show others, their partners and perhaps themselves that their relationship is ‘OK,’ and thus, they are OK.” The introverted are more likely to use Facebook in this manner, and also to keep an eye on their partner’s communications and activities. Extroverts in other research have shown larger social networks and more interaction. One reason for the disconnect is perhaps extroverts share more with their social network offline than online. Seidman wrote, “Introverted individuals [can] feel more comfortable expressing hidden aspects of the self online, so maybe they would be more comfortable expressing affection online or using [Facebook] as a way to seek out information about their partner by monitoring their activity.”

One interesting thing to note was that those who did share couple-centered posts on social media sites did feel more satisfied with their partner overall. Seidman wrote, “I think a lot of people think, ‘Oh, it’s all phony. I think they’d be surprised to hear that it is associated with being genuinely happy in their relationships.”

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