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The increasing popularity of sociable networking websites such as Facebook has affected how we interact with one another, and that includes how we communicate with our amatory partners. Initiating the courtship summons has gone from bravely asking a person out to dinner on their doorsill to just instant messaging the person or evening liking their profile photograph. While it is apparent that Facebook has influenced that variety, you may wonder if that change is for better or worse. So let ’ s examine the ups and downs of having a kinship in the Facebook age .

First, the benefits:

1) Facebook makes new relationships more easily accessible: While people rarely use Facebook as a venue for meeting new people, it is frequently used for the future phase of contact after an initial face-to-face meet. Facebook makes it easier and quicker for people to filter out electric potential partners who spark little matter to or compatibility. Rather than waiting until the third date to realize that a person is not a good match for you, Facebook instantaneously provides information about the electric potential partner ’ sulfur interests and hobbies. Facebook besides makes it easier to brush off the rejection of a electric potential kinship than a direct, face-to-face interaction because of the minimal effort and emotional investment that Facebook requires.1

2) Facebook allows you to integrate your social network with your partner’s: Couples can maintain satisfy relationships by being a part of each other ’ sulfur social networks.2 Facebook provides great appliance for couples to interact with each other ’ randomness social networks, making the integration of friends easier than ever. In fact, researchers discovered that they could actually guess who people ’ south romantic partners were by examining the extent to which their friend networks were integrated on Facebook. That is, it wasn ’ t merely the number of reciprocal friends they shared, but how those common friends were dispersed. If Mike is friends with Sara, and Sara is friends with some of Mike ’ s high educate friends, some of his work friends, and some of his family members, Sara is probably his girlfriend.3 indeed even Facebook can spot a healthy relationship .

3) Facebook can help you practice relationship maintenance techniques: Facebook besides allows people to communicate with their quixotic partners easily, at a distance. In ordain for relationships to be successful, it is crucial that partners continuously work on and nurture the relationship. We can keep our relationships firm by having positive interactions with our spouse, and providing them with assurances—declarations of sleep together and commitment.2 One study showed that couples who portrayed plus ( cheerful and wellbeing statuses about their relationship and partner ) and assuring ( statuses that emphasize commitment to the kinship ) relationship maintenance behaviors on Facebook reported greater kinship satisfaction.4 Posting a condition like, “ I can ’ triiodothyronine wait to spend clock time with my boyfriend back home, ” and “ I swear I will love this female child forever, ” can help relationships thrive both on-line and offline .

Disclosing authentic information about one ’ s relationship is beneficial deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. One cogitation found that when people displayed their relationship condition as “ in a relationship ” and posted unwrap statuses and pictures of themselves with their partners, they reported higher satisfaction.5 Another study found that males who display partnered statuses and females who include their partner in their profile video were specially satisfied with their relationships.6 therefore, posting statuses and pictures promoting the relationship ’ s health may be beneficial to couples ’ atonement. But of course these findings should be interpreted with caution, as these expressions of affection on Facebook may not be making people happier with their relationships, but rather good serving as another venue for those who are already in satisfying relationships to express themselves .

Now let’s examine the downside to using Facebook in your relationship.

1) Going “Facebook Official” raises confusion and conflict: once a relationship intensifies past the initiate and experimental phases and a couple decides to go “ Facebook official ” ( FBO ), Facebook can become a beginning of relational confusion and distress. typically, women feel that going FBO implies exclusivity and earnestness of the kinship. world, on the early hired hand, are more likely to commit to being FBO in order to maintain the trope that his female counterpart is taken while continuing to pursue other relationships simultaneously because men attach less earnestness to the FBO status.7 such discrepancies can cause distress and conflict that leads to dissatisfaction, and even break-up .

2) Facebook can be a source of jealousy and anxiety: All the information contained on Facebook can create a feel of jealousy, intuition, and uncertainty for coupled users. many interactions on Facebook are ambiguous, as you may not know some of your partner ’ south Facebook friends or the nature of those relationships. In some cases, this may arouse suspicion, particularly for people who tend to be covetous, are anxious their partner may leave them, or generally don ’ thyroxine trust their partner.8,9 Facebook creates a negative feedback loop in which potential jealousy-provoking information leads to more spouse surveillance on Facebook, which, in turn, increases the chance of experiencing more Facebook-related jealousy.10 Though the partner may very well continue to be patriotic, Facebook provides easy approachability for spouse surveillance, which may disrupt a person ’ s sense of autonomy and privacy vitamin a well as the stability of the relationship.11 It is important to note that Facebook does not have to lead to jealousy, but if you are an anxious or leery person, Facebook can make the position much worse .
3) Excessive time on Facebook can harm your relationships: not only does continue Facebook practice addition jealousy, but it can have other damaging effects on the relationship arsenic well. One study found that high levels of Facebook use were associated with negative relationship outcomes like cheating and break-up.12 such negative outcomes are by and large the resultant role of Facebook-related conflicts like contacting an ex-partner and constant partner monitor. In fact, those who show obsessional signs of Facebook function, such as interruptions in their daily lives by thoughts regarding Facebook, know much greater levels of jealousy and relationship dissatisfaction.13 As with jealousy, Facebook may not directly cause problems in your relationship, but it can add fuel to displace .

4) Other people may not like it if you show off your relationship on Facebook: As I detailed in an earlier post, posting excessively personal information about one ’ randomness kinship can make a bad stamp on others. One study showed that individuals who post highly disclose statuses about their relationships are liked less by others.14 This may be harmful in the long function, specially if the kinship dissolves and the individuals decide to look for early electric potential mates among their social network .
Facebook can have both positive and veto effects on relationships, but it all depends on what type of person you are and how you use the social network site. If you tend to be jealous and leery, or tend to overuse Facebook, then it could make things worse for your relationships. On the early hand, when starting a relationship, Facebook can be used as a incontrovertible cock, and once that relationship develops, Facebook can help you maintain a healthy relationship .

 Photo courtesy Anthony Roberson source : beginning : Photo courtesy Anthony Roberson
This stake was co-authored by Anthony Roberson, a student at Albright College.

Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Albright College, who studies relationships and cyberpsychology .
Follow her on chitter for updates about social psychology, relationships, and on-line behavior. Read more posts by Dr. Seidman on Close Encounters .