Monday, August 17, 2009

Facebook Put You In The Doghouse

I like Facebook. It's been a fun way to reconnect with old friends, and stay in touch with current ones. We all post pics of our families, and keep up with the day-to-day and sometimes extraordinary events in our lives.
But a recent study has shown that Facebook has become another outlet for romantic couples to become jealous of one another. The biggest social network can actually ignite the flames of jealousy in otherwise happy relationships.

Amy Muise oft the psychology department at the University of Guelph, Ontario and her collegues have been studying various psychological/social aspects of Facebook for the past several months. She's found that "Facebook is creating jealousy even where there was not jealousy to begin with. Part of the issue with information on Facebook is that it lacks certain context, so there could be things posted on your partner's wall that you really don't know what it means."
A study on Facebook? Leave it to those crazy Canadians.
These conclusions are based on a survey of over 300 college students. Here's how the circle of jealousy works: Your boyfriend posts something to begin the spark. Maybe it's a suspicious post. Or it's a picture of him with another girl. At first, you dismiss it as being non-threatening. "Maybe the other girl is just a friend or a cousin," you say to yourself. Regardless, you begin to monitor your signifcant other's Facebook page, looking for incriminating evidence. Soon, you find yourself burning and consumed with pure jealousy.

Let's face it - your partner gets tagged in some old photo with an does set something off in your brain. And most of us will become detectives to see if there are other damning pics. Or what if your partner changes their status to "single" or "complicated?" Oh brother...that's just asking for trouble.

"You're exposed to more information," Muise added. "And you can also monitor your partner's activities very easily and without being detected, because they don't know how many times a day you're looking on their Facebook page unless you communicate that with them."

So if you AND your signifcant other is on Facebook, just be careful. Facebook is not to blame - it just makes it easier to gather information. The study is flawed in my opinion since 75% of those surveyed were women. Even this study showed that men were more likely to just not look at their girlfriend's Facebook page.

My fellow dudes on Facebook - just be careful. Know that your woman is tracking your ass. You can talk to that hot ex, just don't send her any "virtual gifts" and do NOT even think about touching her Twitter.


Meredith said...

nice post. Glad to see you writing again. I seem to have that real-life Phoenix thing going on, too.

RE: facebook. I think it depends upon the relationship and how stable/long lasting it is beforehand. And if you are prone to jealousy then it will happen on FB as easily as anywhere else, checking incoming cell phone calls, emails, etc.

I think the real problem with FB and other online avenues and couples are the length of time spent online vs. real life. If it becomes unbalanced, that can create discord, jealousy, etc.

BrianAlt said...

Yep! I've seen it firsthand.

angel, jr. said...

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, who has time to keep up with all that stuff?

Karen said...

Wow, am I glad to hear from you again... you gave us quite a scare!

Hope you're doing better now.

btw, I'm on FB and Twitter, but you know me, it's all political, no personal stuff.

kim said...


I think that people just need to think before they post.

Phats said...

Welcome back my friend, good to see you writing!

I am not on facebook, I have avoided it something about getting requests from all my students i'll pass. I love the picture you put at the bottom though haha

Mr. Shife said...

The wife is not on Facebook but she does get awful curious sometimes about what I am doing on there and who I am talking to.

The Egg said...

I'm a facebook junkie! Haha I could totally relate to this post. Once I read something questionable and ended up in a fit of tears. Alas it was over a stupid application and its dumb headlines..

cube said...

It was good to hear from you again. I had no idea you were having problems, but I am really glad to hear you are back.

BTW I don't have a Facebook acount and only opened a Twitter account because of pressure from a friend, but I haven't kept it up because I think Twitter, especially, is mostly inarticulate babble.

the weirdgirl said...

Phoenix! So glad to see you back! I hope you're feeling better!

I'm online a lot but I haven't run into jealousy issues with my husband. However, maybe that's because he's not online except for when he reads my blog. Although, I have to agree with Kim, if people are posting things like "having more fun than I'm supposed to" or "going out without my wedding rings again!" then, yeah, trouble will ensue.

jenn said...

Yay you're back!

You beat my local paper on writing about this by a day or two.

I saw a friend crash her own relationship because she was posting about her insecurities in the relationship and he was on her friend's list.

She'd also ask me to go check her ex's profile (not the same guy) to see what he's up too. Ahhh Stalkbook.

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