Facebook has become a wealth of social information and discovery for psychologists — it’s a way to explore a unique kind of intimacy. Taryn Hillin of Fusion has written on yet another study that implies that those over-sharing Facebook couples may actually be as happy as they look in their constant photo updates.
The study, published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture, examined 188 participants, aged 18 to 53 who were in a relationship at the time of the research. The team of researchers asked participants to rate themselves and their relationships based off of a series of statements to determine if their offline lives were as blissful as their online ones suggested.
The statements measured how capable the participants were in assessing themselves, how honest they were about their relationships, and the quality of their relationship. Then the researchers looked at participants’ Facebook profiles to see how often they posted photos of themselves with their significant other, tagged them in updates, and included them in posts.
The results showed there was a higher rate of happiness between couples that posted more often, and displayed a certain degree of “relationship-awareness” as a researcher put it.
The researchers suggest that people who are open and honest in their relationships aren’t afraid to share and post public declarations. Either that or making a relationship public makes couples more open and honest. However, there are often conflicting studies when it comes to Facebook. One of which says that people who post more to Facebook are depressed or lonely. To which the researchers write:
“It may be that negative or positive effects related to Facebook use are not innate to the medium itself, but rather these effects are an artifact of how people elect to use Facebook.”
So, people can either choose to utilize this social tool to boost happiness or cope with loneliness, as well as myriad other things. It all depends on how you look at it.
Read more at Fusion.