A new peer-reviewed study suggests the time spent on Facebook by college students is directly related to feelings of jealousy toward their romantic partner.
The view is self-perpetuating as jealousy leads to more time on Facebook searching for additional information –- a behavior that exacerbates their jealousy.
In fact, the escalating cycle may become addictive, according to a study reported in CyberPsychology & Behavior. The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/cpb.
Amy Muise, MSc, Emily Christofides, MSc, and Serge Desmarais, PhD, from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), surveyed young adults involved in romantic relationships.
They discovered time on social networking sites such as Facebook can lead to new knowledge about their partners that can make them jealous. The jealousy, in turn, leads them to spend more time involved in online surveillance in an effort to uncover even more jealousy-provoking information.
The Rapid Communication, entitled “More Information than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook Bring Out the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy?” describes a vicious cycle in which Facebook usage and feelings of jealousy become intertwined and have a negative influence on behavior and relationships.
Some participants in the study described their increasing use of Facebook as “addictive.” The authors recommend further research to explore this feedback loop and to determine whether a similar relationship between online social networking and jealousy toward a partner affects older adults as well.
“This research on university-age individuals is an excellent starting point to begin asking additional questions on how this new forum might be impacting the dynamics of adult relationships and other social processes,” says Professor Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Editor-in-Chief of CyberPsychology & Behavior.
Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.