Study Finds It’s Better to Include Your Better Half in Social Posts

If you're in a relationship and like to share details about your life on social media, do yourself a favor and include your partner. It will probably help your personal life. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
If you're in a relationship and like to share details about your life on social media, do yourself a favor and include your partner. It will probably help your personal life. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

If you’re in a relationship and like to share details about your life on social media, do yourself a favor and include your partner. It will probably help your personal life. That’s the takeaway from a series of five studies conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Kansas.

In their new published paper, they found sharing information online can do more harm to romantic relationships than good. They did, however, find a way to counteract its negative effects. If you often post about your life, include your better half in the post.

The research is the first of its kind to systematically examine how different circumstances can affect whether a partner perceives their loved one’s online disclosure to be positive or negative. Juwon Lee, a postdoctoral researcher in Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said:

Their paper’s five studies built on each other to attempt to resolve inconsistencies in literature on online disclosure and relationships. In doing so, the researchers found underlying conditions driving the negative effects of online disclosure. They compared how posting personal information online affected intimacy and satisfaction in online and offline contexts, romantic relationships and friendships, and when the partner posted about themselves versus the relationship as a whole.

They found when one person frequently shares personal information with large groups on social media, it negatively impacts their partner’s satisfaction and feelings of intimacy in the relationship. The research suggests a romantic partner could feel left out or see themselves as less special. Omri Gillath, a professor of psychology at KU who co-authored the study, said:

Gillath, Lee, and fellow co-author Andrew Miller, a medical school student at KU, did find one instance when sharing information with large audiences didn’t have negative effects. Friendships weren’t affected by overly personal posts. Lee said:

Provided by: Carnegie Mellon University [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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