Do More 'Selfies' Mean More Relationship Woes?

Survey of Instagram users suggests sharing these photos online may make romantic partners jealous

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Posting too many "selfies" on social media might lead to serious problems with your romantic partner, according to a new study.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 420 users of the social media site Instagram. The users were aged 18 to 62. The investigators found that those who believed they were good-looking were more likely to post selfies, which are photographic self-portraits.

But the more selfies someone posted, the more likely the behavior was tied to jealousy and arguments in their romantic relationship, along with emotional or physical infidelity, breakups and divorces, the findings showed.

"Although we cannot directly assume cause-and-effect due to the [study's design], the results here show that body-image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users' romantic relationships, especially when users' body-image satisfaction is promoted in the form of Instagram selfie posts," study co-author Russell Clayton, an assistant professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee, said in a school news release.

The study was published recently in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

According study author Jessica Ridgway, "the results from this study provide an avenue for future body-image research." Ridgway is a visiting professor of retail merchandising and product development at Florida State.

"For instance," she said in the news release, "future research could examine whether social media users post images of their actual selves or their virtual ideal selves, and whether such online behaviors are associated with similar negative outcomes found in our study."

More information

The American Psychological Association offers tips for healthy romantic relationships.

SOURCE: Florida State University, news release, Jan. 22, 2016


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