Let’s be honest here, there is nothing more annoying than a couple expressing their love for each other on social media. Seriously, can’t you say, I love you face to face? Gah, it’s enough to make you block someone — seriously, I do that.
Don’t get me wrong, I find love to be a splendid thing and I could possibly tolerate one post a week from a couple who feel the need to be overly affectionate on Facebook, but any more than that is just unnecessary, and frankly, it looks a little put on.
However, it appears that my distaste for public displays of affection (PDA) has been grossly overlooked, and perhaps these couples are on to something.
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found lovers that Facebook together, stay together.
Co-author of the paper Dr Catalina Toma said it was discovered that couples that have an increased commitment to one another online, echoed those feelings in real life and were likely to have longer lasting relationships.
“People tend to internalise what they say about themselves in public, and we were interested applying this to relationships, and to the idea that if you declare your commitment publicly, you might perceive yourself as more committed to that partner,” she told DailyDot.
The study surveyed a selection of university-aged heterosexual couples to find out details about their relationships and levels of commitment. Participants were then asked to log into their Facebook accounts so researchers could examine the “friendship activity” of the couple to find out the amount of correspondence they shared on the social media platform.
Researchers then performed the same actions six months after the initial survey.
After applying the statistical models from the two surveys, Ms Toma was able to establish those couples that continued to engage in the “loving” slash sickening behaviour had a stronger relationship.
“These publicly posted cues likely induced participants to perceive themselves as part of a romantic unit, thus cementing the relationship,” she said.
Researchers also asked another question: Do people with more friends and interests in common also have stronger relationships?
This one however, came back with a resounding ‘NOPE.’ Data showed that if couples had more mutual friends in common, it negatively impacted the commitment to the relationship.
Another negative indicator the researchers described as “puzzling” was how many times a partner posted on a participant’s wall. Participants interpreted their own actions as neediness, while their posts on partner’s walls proved to be indicators of commitment.