Being active on Twitter and Facebook can have detrimental effects on a relationship, as it can lead to emotional and physical cheating, breakup and even divorce, a new study has claimed.
Twitter and other social networking services have revolutionised the way people create and maintain relationships, researchers said.
However, new research shows that Twitter use could actually be damaging to users' romantic relationships.
Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter–related conflict with their romantic partners.
The results show that Twitter-related conflict then leads to negative relationship outcomes, including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.
Clayton surveyed 581 Twitter users of all ages, asking them questions about their Twitter use such as how often they login in to Twitter, tweet, scroll the news-feed, send direct messages to others, and reply to followers.
Clayton also asked how much, if any, conflict arose between participants' current or former partners as a result of Twitter use.
Clayton found that the more often a respondent reported being active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner, which then significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup and divorce
In his previous research on Facebook, Clayton found that Facebook-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes were greater among couples in newer relationships of 36 months or less.
In his new research regarding Twitter, Clayton found these outcomes occurred regardless of duration of relationship.
"I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced Twitter-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship," Clayton said.
"Couples who reported being in relatively new relationships experienced the same amount of conflict as those in longer relationships," said Clayton.
"Although a number of variables can contribute to relationship infidelity and separation, social networking site usage, such as Twitter and Facebook use, can be damaging to relationships," Clayton said.
"Therefore, users should cut back to moderate, healthy levels of Twitter use if they are experiencing Twitter or Facebook – related conflict," he said.
The study was published in Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.