Arguments over social media platforms among romantic partners are damaging relationships, ending in negative outcomes like emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce, a significant research reveals.
Individuals who are active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict with their romantic partners, researchers said.
"I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship," said Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in University of Missouri's school of journalism.
Couples who reported being in relatively new relationships experienced the same amount of conflict as those in longer relationships, he noted.
In his study, Clayton surveyed 581 Twitter users of all ages.
Clayton asked participants questions about their Twitter use such as how often they login in to Twitter, tweet, scroll the Twitter newsfeed, 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.
He 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.
"The aim of this study was to examine whether my previous study that concluded that Facebook use predicted Facebook-related conflict - which then led to breakup and divorce - were consistent with Twitter," Clayton commented.
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.
If Twitter users are experiencing Twitter-related conflict with their partner, Clayton recommends "couples of all ages limit their daily and weekly use of social networking sites to more healthy, reasonable levels".
According to him, 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.
Cut back to moderate, healthy levels of Twitter use if you are experiencing Twitter or Facebook-related conflict, he advised in the study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.