As I scrolled through my news feed I stumbled upon my boyfriend’s profile because he was tagged him in an old photo ex girlfriend from a party they were at years ago. Immediately I was filled with intense jealousy and a raging sensation to blame my boyfriend, which ultimately caused a huge fight. The entire scenario resulted from Facebook’s ability to “tag” a picture of my current boyfriend and post it onto the newsfeed, causing massive tension between us. I then realized how Facebook has the ability and opportunity to create an unbearable jealousy trait of someone and major tension between romantic couples of all ages.
The everyday use of Facebook and easily accessed activities, like tagging or uploading a photo, create a connection between its users. However this intent advances multiple traits of possible obsessive curiosity, constant worry, paranoia and suspicion for a partner in a relationship. Amy Muise, who has a Master’s in Science suggests in her study that “exposing one’s social network activities in a public domain appears to have some negative implications for romantic and sexual relationships” (Muise 441). It’s relatively easy to connect with all Facebook users and to reconnect with past partners due to the excessive usage and easy access provided to its users.
An important thing to remember when it comes to Facebook threatening a relationship is the role of photos; tagging or viewing. The author Greg Mod with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology discusses the background of photographs and tags coinciding with Facebook. He states that “photos play an important role for any Facebook user with over 300 million images being updated daily and that can be swapped between users” (qtd. In Mod pg 1). Partners are more prone to monitor their partner’s activity on Facebook, leading to feelings of jealousy and eventually arguments hurting the romantic relationship. Ultimately Facebook can become addicting, over informative, and makes it too easy to reconnect with old lovers.
Looking at the psychological aspect of why or how people can experience jealous we can look directly at individual levels of trust and self-esteem (Muise 441). Muise talks about how if a partner doubts their partner’s involvement or commitment to their own relationship they are prone to lower levels of trust and commitment issues, resulting in the excessive Facebook monitoring (Muise, 442). Although it may seem as if Facebook isn’t solely responsible for the cause of relationship jealousy, it still has the availability to increase contact with past romantic and sexual partners, therefore creating potential jealousy between the current couple in a relationship. Also Facebook has the potential to enhance the connection between people that may not usually communicate and interact with, leading to suspicion.
The obvious solution to this problem of Facebook being a jealousy enhancer to romantic relationships is to control one’s feelings of jealousy, level of trust and self-esteem, which can ultimately result in a better psychological point for both partners. More so, the connection that results between Facebook use and jealousy can be eliminated by the amount of time spent on this social media network and more time on working with your current partner and the current relationship. A study revealed that an average person spends about 38.93 minutes on Facebook each day and about 74.6% of participants were likely to add previous romantic or sexual partners as friends (Muise 442).
Concluding here that the information emerging from Facebook is revealed to partners that is not usually accessible otherwise, resulting in questions like “Do I really know what my partner is doing behind my back and on Facebook?” However I can further conclude, Facebook can result in activities that don’t always look like what they seem; meaning Facebook can seem somewhat ambiguous and misleading resulting in jealousy traits.