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Twitter may drive couples to break up, divorce: study

Jul 03 2014, 16:35 IST
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Spending too much time on Twitter may damage your romantic relationship... Spending too much time on Twitter may damage your romantic relationship...
SummaryActive users of the social networking site who are in a romantic relationship may find that Twitter-related conflicts cause relationship problems

Spending too much time on Twitter may damage your romantic relationship, even leading to negative outcomes such as physical cheating, breakup or divorce, a new study suggests.

Active users of the social networking site who are in a romantic relationship may find that Twitter-related conflicts cause relationship problems that can become serious enough to result in infidelity or divorce, researchers said.

Russell Clayton from the University of Missouri-Columbia, said the findings of the study are designed to characterise the relationship between active Twitter use, Twitter-related conflict, and negative relationship outcomes.

The author evaluated the amount of time a person spent on Twitter, how much conflict arose between couples as a result of active Twitter usage, and whether negative relationship outcomes were associated with active Twitter use and Twitter-related conflict.

The author also examined whether duration of relationship impacted these outcomes.

Clayton found that active Twitter use and Twitter-related conflict were positively associated with an increase in emotional and physical cheating, breakup, and divorce.

These outcomes were not impacted by length of romantic relationship, researchers said.

"Since much of the social networking research is in its infancy, we do not know if other media, such as Instagram will also impact relationships in a negative way," said Brenda K Wiederhold, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.

The research was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.

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