Facebook and romantic relationships – a troubled couple

Author: Oana Ștefăniță
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania
Email: oana.stefanita@comunicare.ro

Social media have become an integrated part of our everyday lives. With more than 2 billion active users of Facebook, the impact of social media sites on romantic relationships cannot be undermined. This paper seeks to explore from a theoretical perspective the impact of social networks on interpersonal relationships, namely the influence of Facebook use in romantic relationships. Furthermore, it will explore the attachment styles as predictors for online behavior.

Although the understanding of digital behavior is becoming increasingly important, studies conducted so far on how social networks are used to maintain and develop relationships or on how attachment styles moderate digital behavior are few and generated conflicting results. The use of social networking sites can offer many rewards, but one should never forget that the online environment is a double-edged sword. Combined with lack of self-confidence, anxiety, fear of abandonment it can lead to dependence, electronic intrusion, and amplified need to be in control. In turn, surveillance increases the sense of anxiety and guilt, trapping the user in a vicious circle which ultimately leads to negative experiences in the relationship.

Keywords: Facebook use, romantic relationships, surveillance, electronic intrusion, jealousy, attachment style