If you are in a long-distance romantic relationship, using Facebook to get in touch helps to a great extent but the same is not true if your girlfriend lives in the same area or city, finds a research.
"Social network sites are used more frequently by those in long-distance relationships," said Brenda K. Wiederhold from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California, and the Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.
As long-distance relationships become more common, and continue to succeed, it becomes increasingly valuable to understand the role that technology plays in strengthening or damaging a romantic relationship," she explained.
The findings showed that social networking sites such as Facebook play an important role in maintaining relationships when individuals are involved in a geographically long-distance romantic relationship.
For the study, co-authors Cherrie Joy Billedo, Peter Kerkhof, and Catrin Finkenauer from the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of the Philippines, described differences in the intensity of use and the types of uses of social network sites between the close-by verses long-distance relationship groups.
They reported how use of social network sites allows individuals to access information about and monitor the activities of romantic partners.
"This can be used to gauge a partner's involvement in the relationship and loyalty, with potentially positive or detrimental effects," the authors wrote.
The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.