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  • From Facebook to Jealousy and Breaks of Relationships

    Posted on August 22nd, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Couple days ago I was having lunch with two friends, one of them was a Global Marketing Director for a PC Manufacturer based in Taiwan. He was asking about social media network like Facebook and Twitter and how they can be marketing tools for corporate. He questioned if social media network sites were for younger generations only, so obviously he is not a Facebook or Twitter user, I guess.

    As I was giving explanations and samples how Facebook and Twitter work, my friend Jackie commented “That’s so scary!! If you disclose so many details online, your crazy ex-boyfriend or enemy can find you easily now.” Well, with Facebook or without Facebook, your crazy ex-boyfriend can easily find you as long as you leave your digital footprint, or even your current crazy boyfriend/girlfriend.

    Just be careful when you surf Facebook, your relationship status may go from “married” to “it’s complicated”.

    According to a study conducted by Cyber Psychology and Behaviour, the more time one spends on the social networking site, the more likely he/she is to feel jealous.  Jealousy?? Yes, the jealousy caused and triggered by overexposing partners.

    If you are in a relationship, I am pretty much sure you have checked your partner’s Facebook page.  You saw a post from someone you don’t know that says, “It was great seeing you last night,” “I like your new profile picture,” or a simple “Love your smile” could drive you nuts and you almost want to smash your mouse.  Even though it could be something very innocent, it can easily be interpreted another way.

    Sometimes it may not even be dialogs or message trails; you just see your partner played a game, adopted a cyber pet or took a quiz and suddenly he or she is 98.88% “match” with his/her Facebook friend. That’s enough to send you over the edge and you are ready to declare war against your partner the minute he/she walks in the door.

    Social media networking site like Facebook and MySpace, they are fun and interesting because they allow us to disclose and share what we are doing, thinking, what interests us and inspires us.  But at the same time, it also exposes every interaction, every glimpse, and every hello in front of your significant other. And before you even noticed, it creates huge problem for your partner and your relationship.

    The problem can become a vicious cycle, when the jealousy spurned by “Facebook creeping” leads the “creeper” to search for more information that will, inevitably, fuel the jealousy even more.

    When your partner start getting jealous, he/she is not going to stop easily; he/she can’t help but to dig and search more details and “signs”. The more “signs” he/she thought he/she has discovered, the more jealous he/she gets. In the end, he/she spend more and more time online, and is glued to Facebook longer and longer. More Facebook, more jealousy, more argument and eventually it causes relationship rage. Facebook becomes the relationship killer.

    The study, published in the Cyber Psychology and Behaviour journal, examined 308 undergraduate students. About 75% of the subjects were female and all of the respondents were “Facebook friends” with their current partner or a previous partner.

    In real life, certain encounters can also trigger jealousy; imagine you’re with your partner and a good-looking stranger approaches. Since you don’t know your partner’s history with this person or the nature of their relationship, in this situation, the partner is there to explain the relationship.

    However, on Facebook, there’s less context, sometimes there’s none. Feelings of insecurity, which would otherwise be easily quashed when the relationship is explained in person, become more frequent and more intense online.

    One respondent summed up the problem: “I was already a bit jealous and insecure, but I think Facebook has definitely made me much, much, much worse.”  She is one of the victims of divorce sparked by Facebook jealousy. After stumbled across her husband’s Facebook correspondences with another woman, she was “hooked”. She dug and followed their messages and coy cyber flirts. In the end, the jealousy killed the relationship.

    And, in terms of couples most likely to be affected by outbursts of Facebook rage, the study suggested there’s “a greater potential for jealously” within older couples using the network to connect with past friends and old flames.  So what we really should watch out are not crazy ex-boyfriends but HOT ex-boyfriends, perhaps ^_*

    So is Facebook to be blamed? Of course not at all. Social networking sites are communication tools that allow us to engage with others, and I strongly believe communication is THE very important key in any relationship be it love or friendship… or business.


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