I’ve never been “Facebook official,” as the youngins call it. And it hasn’t been by choice. My last boyfriend was a private person. He rarely posted status updates on Facebook. When he did, it was usually to talk of his love of coffee or hatred towards morning traffic.
I respected his nature. I accepted him for who he was and what he brought to our relationship, even when he failed to fulfill me. Still, it bugged me that we weren’t listed as “in a relationship” on Facebook, even though a study shows that it may have been for the best.
A new study conducted by Missouri University found that people who use Facebook excessively are more likely to break up due to experiencing conflict. They surveyed Facebook users between the ages of 18 to 82 and asked participants to describe how often they use Facebook and if any arguments came about because of too much Facebook use. The researchers found that high levels of Facebook usage among couples led to problems, including cheating, breakups, and even divorce.
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How can that be? How can a social media tool that is used to connect with friends and loved ones end in heartbreak? Too much sharing coupled with a lack of trust may just be the culprit.
Russell Clayton, the doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism who led this study, puts it this way, “…the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy.”
So, the more you share on Facebook (how you feel about your mate, how you think the bartender at your local bar is cute, how your co-worker is laugh-out-loud funny), the more your partner is spying (or Facebook stalking) and making note of any suspicious behavior. I’ve been guilty of this. My ex uploaded a photo to his Facebook timeline of himself and another female, and I immediately clicked on her profile in search of her identity. Who is she? Why is he with her? What does it all mean? It turned out to be his niece. I was so ashamed of my behavior. But, if I was extra insegura and super celosa I could have taken it a step further and really ruined my relationship.
So, the lesson here is to watch what you post on Facebook. Be in tune with your partner and how he feels about your social media usage, and especially how he feels about you chatting with past partners and lovers. And always get offline and enjoy your time with partner, even if you aren’t “Facebook official.”