What Too Many Mushy Facebook Posts Really Mean About a Relationship

A new study sheds some light on all those over-sharers in your newsfeed.

  • Rachel Christensen

Everyone knows a relationship over-sharer: That couple who constantly posts lovey-dovey Facebook statuses about how lucky they are, shares over-the-top PDA photos and declares their love for the world (or newsfeeds) to see. Turns out, all those updates could actually shed some light on their real relationship status.

For a recent Albright College study, researchers surveyed Facebook users about their behaviors and motivations when posting to the social network. The findings? Couples who are satisfied with their relationships may be more likely to use Facebook to share cutesy photos and affectionate posts.

But that’s not the whole story: People high in what study author and Albright assistant professor of psychology Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., calls “Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem (RCSE)—an unhealthy form of self-esteem that depends on how well your relationship is going”—also post mushy Facebook content. This, she said in a statement, could be in order to “show others, their partners, and perhaps themselves that their relationship is ‘OK’ and, thus, they are OK.”

The difference between happy couples and those with RCSE?: The latter group tends to brag about their relationship to others (as opposed to just sharing photos and writing sweet comments), and “even monitor their boyfriend or girlfriend’s Facebook activities.”
 
The study also found that extroverts are, perhaps counter-intuitively, less likely to openly boast about their relationships on Facebook, while introverts were more likely to do so (and more likely to snoop on their partners). The findings were presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Research conference.

Another recent study however, showed that extroverts tend to upload lots of photos in general, seeking acceptance through their Facebook interactions, LiveScience reported on Yahoo! Health.

h/t: The Atlantic