How Does Social Media Affect Romantic Relationship Habits?

Annotated Bibliography

Abbasi, Irum S. 2019. “Social Media and Committed Relationships: What Factors Make our Romantic Relationship Vulnerable?” Social Science Computer Review 37(3): 425-434.

Abbasi (2019) conducted a quantitative study in an attempt to ascertain whether social media affects romantic relationships. The author hypothesized that addiction to social networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook, would have an inverse correlation to relationship commitment. Two hundred and fifty-two participants (167 women, 85 men) within the age of eighteen to seventy-three years were recruited through a university research website in the United States. Demographic questionnaires and commitment scales were used to assess the number of social media websites that the enrollees signed up and their commitment scores, respectively (Abbasi 2019). Results show that individuals with a high degree of SNSs addiction portray low levels of commitment in their romantic relationships.

The author linked the phenomenon to the value offered by SNSs, whereby users have access to a broader connection of friends. Consequently, “availability of online potential alternative partners lowers commitment, increases- physical and emotional infidelity, relationship dissatisfaction and risks of breakups and divorce” (Abbasi 2019:426). Further, the study reveals that the commitment scores depend on the type of relationship as the married partners exhibited higher levels of commitment compared to dedicated companions. Abbasi (2019) interpreted this variation using the theory of interdependence and cohesiveness. The scholar also discovered a significant correlation between age, SNSs addiction, and romantic relationship habits. Younger couples signed up for several social media accounts, which increased time spent on online connections, enhanced emotional investment with the extra-dyadic partners, and lowered commitment in their relationships (Abbasi 2019). The researcher used the investment model to explain the association between the three variables. The article is useful because it focuses on my selected topics of discussion: social media and romantic relationships. Results from the study are particularly essential in developing an informative research paper.

Frampton, Jessica R. and Jesse Fox. 2018. “Social Media’s Role in Romantic Partners’ Retroactive Jealousy: Social Comparison, Uncertainty, and Information Seeking.” Social Media and Society 1-12. doi:10.1177%2F2056305118800317

Frampton and Fox (2018) analyzed the relationship between social media and retroactive jealousy among romantic partners. In particular, they examined whether and how social media triggered the habit. Thirty-six participants (15 males, 21 females) between the age of eighteen to twenty-three years from undergraduate classes at Midwestern University were recruited for the exploratory study. Participants were expected to fill demographic questionnaires before indulging in the exercise. One-on-one, semi-structured interviews were conducted among the enrollees to gather information on the topic. A strategic approach of asking nondirective questions, engaging in active listening, and probing inquiries was applied to collect adequate data and prevent biased responses. Findings show that social media based on digital remnants, social comparison, and uncertainty triggers retroactive jealousy among romantic partners.

The authors further explored the way the above factors directly affected relationship habits. For instance, digital remnants, such as photos and videos, were considered potential triggers of retroactive jealousy as they “remind people that there were other romantic partners before them” (Frampton and Fox 2018:5). The scholars also examined the relationship between SNSs and social comparison in which the latter was observed to be a facilitator of jealousy. Uncertainty about the stability of the romantic association was also linked to mistrusts arising from social media surveillance. With the help of data from the research and personal perspectives, the scholars went a step further to offer strategies for managing retroactive jealousy, which include refraining and avoiding SNSs, disparaging exes, avoiding direct-interactive information, and engaging in digital fact-checking, among other aspects. The article is essential to my research as it highlights and illustrates the way social media use may result in jealousy among partners. In addition, the journal provides resourceful data to psychologists and learners about approaches they can use to help couples overcome and reverse habits that arise from SNSs dependency.

Uusiautti, Satu and Kaarina Määttä. 2017. “Will Social Media Strengthen or Threaten Romantic Love?” Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS) 6(4): 709-725.

Uusiautti and Määttä (2017) conducted qualitative research to determine the effects of social media on romantic relationships. The study was based on people’s perception of SNSs and the habits triggered by the platform among committed couples. Seventy-two participants (21 men, 4 men) from the Northern Finnish University were recruited for the exercise. The researchers utilized structured questionnaires with six open-ended questions to gather data. Before filling the surveys, enrollees were required to indicate their age, gender, relationship, and familiarity with social media in their forms (Uusiautti and Määttä 2017). A qualitative content analyzing method was used at the end of the exploration to interpret the findings. Results show that social media dependency triggers both positive and adverse habits in romantic relationships.

The authors discovered that people perceived social media as beneficial in their relationships because it facilitated the ease of keeping in touch and provided a platform for participants to appreciate their partners publicly. Unlike previous research, the study established a positive correlation between SNSs and relationship habits. Twelve of the enrollees stated that relationship publicity strengthened commitment. However, it also conformed to findings from other studies, indicating that SNSs lower commitment. Other adversities as recorded by participants included cheating, misunderstandings, false relationship images, and public humiliation. The scholars also broadly discussed the elements of love and the ways they are affected by social media. The selected article is useful as the authors focus primarily on social media and relationships, a topic that I am particularly interested in.

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