A study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, examined why people are driven to Facebook-stalk current romantic partners. Social networking sites can serve as both a source of information and a source of tension in a relationship.
Jessie Fox of Ohio State University and Katie Warber of Wittenberg University recruited 328 students – comprised of men and women between the ages of 18 and 48 (primarily heterosexual and Caucasian) in the US for their research.
Contributors were given three surveys to complete – the first measuring partner monitoring on Facebook. Participants were asked to rate their agreement with statements like, “I visit my partner’s social networking site often,” for example.
The second scored relationship security – rating on a one to six scale of how certain they felt in their relationship – revealing any possible ambiguity.
The third identified attachment styles, distinguishing between the “secure,” “preoccupied,” “dismissive,” and “fearful,” according to Slate.
Using this information, the researchers ran a statistical analyses searching for connections between various answers on the three questionnaires.
Researchers determined relationships afflicted with high anxiety were more likely to see online monitoring of social media accounts and emails. Applicants with “preoccupied” or “fearful” attachment styles reported checking up more often on their romantic partners.
While this result may not necessarily be surprising, given that jealously and controlling behaviors can often stem from insecurity in one’s relationship, the action of actively hounding a partner over otherwise innocent daily posts to their Facebook and Twitter pages may provoke the relationship to end sooner rather than later.[Photo Credit: colorblindPICASO]