“These publicly posted cues likely induced participants to perceive themselves as part of a romantic unit, thus cementing the relationship,” wrote Catalina Toma and Mina Choi, the co-authors of the study. Their theory is that publicly confirming romance in and of itself deepens that romance, partly because people want to live in a way that’s consistent with how they represent themselves to the outside world. Having a lot of mutual friends was not associated with staying in a couple past six months, nor was how often a person’s partner posted on their wall.
Toma and Choi considered the competing idea that the Facebook activity merely reflected couples’ deep commitment to each other, rather than helping deepen that commitment. They tested that hypothesis statistically and found more evidence that Facebook affects relationship commitment than vice-versa.
As the saying goes: first comes Facebook, then comes deep, long-lasting romance.
Curated by Erbe