Bad news, cynics. All those annoyingly gleeful Facebook friends flooding your timeline with declarations of love, adorable embraces, and anniversary announcements really are as in love as their Facebook missives claim, according to recent research.
Published in the July 2013 issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, the study found that people who post about the relationship on social media are more secure in their marriages than people who don’t post as often. And here all this time I thought they were overcompensating or just unaware of how annoying they were being!
The study found three main Facebook indicators of a happy offline relationship. First off, those who posted pictures of themselves with their significant other were more likely to report being happy in their relationship. People who reported a higher level of marital satisfaction and closeness with their partner were also much more likely to have posted a profile picture featuring their boo in the past year. And finally, on days when people felt more satisfied in their relationship, they were more likely to share relationship-relevant updates on Facebook. You know, like that time your grandma overshared about her still-going-strong sex life as a 90-year-old!
I can’t help but take these new findings with a grain of salt. After all, just a few days ago, researchers reported that excessive Facebook use can actually ruin romantic relationships, leading to Facebook-induced conflict. One study even found that as many as 20 percent of divorces now cite Facebook in filings, with sexually inappropriate chats with someone other than one’s spouse being the most pinpointed reason. And plenty of us have been the unfortunate witnesses to couples broadcasting relationship conflict on social media…and doesn’t that always seem to come from the couples who also frequently broadcast their undying love?
What do you think—do these new findings hold some truth, or are you skeptical that those so-in-love couples really are as happy as they claim on Facebook?