Facebook jealously rears its ugly head

San Francisco (CA) – A team of Canadian researchers has published a study analyzing Facebook’s alleged role in creating an atmosphere of jealousy and suspicion between romantically involved individuals.

“Facebook is a rapidly expanding phenomenon that is changing the nature of social relationships. Anecdotal evidence, including information described in the popular media, suggests that Facebook may be responsible for creating jealousy and suspicion in romantic relationships,” the researchers postulated in an article titled “More Information than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook Bring Out the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy?”

The study utilized a hierarchical multiple regression analysis and hypothesized that increased Facebook use “significantly predicts” Facebook related jealousy.

“We argue that this effect may be the result of a feedback loop whereby using Facebook exposes people to often ambiguous information about their partner that they may not otherwise have access to and that this new information incites further Facebook use,” the researchers explained. “For all of the positive aspects of the increased social connection that Facebook enables, there may also be some costs for those individuals involved in romantic and sexual relationships.”

However, the authors conceded that further research was needed to fully understand the complex nature between Facebook and jealousy.

“Future research must directly examine the effects of various triggers on the experience of jealousy and on the time individuals spend on Facebook. Ideally, this research would directly assess the process by which time spent on Facebook and the experience of jealousy on Facebook are related. One thing is sure: Facebook provides a superb forum for the study of relational jealousy, and our study only serves as a starting point,” the team concluded.