Becoming "Facebook official" is a definite step in a relationship in modern times, but is announcing your romantic partners on social media good for your relationship? Well, according to a new study, people who list their relationship status are more likely to feel committed and invested in the relationship. So in fact, it seems that being Facebook official is good for you after all.
In a study recently published in Computers and Human Behavior , researchers interviewed 170 undergraduate college students who were in monogamous relationships to determine how much time the students spent on Facebook, whether they had posted their relationship status on Facebook, and how secure they felt in their relationship. Unsurprisingly, they found that people who spend more time on Facebook are more likely to be Facebook official with their significant other; however, they also found that people who do list their relationship on Facebook are "more satisfied, committed, invested, and with lower perceived relational alternatives." Overall, the authors write, "individuals in relationships that are ‘Facebook official’ report being in more committed, stronger relationships than non-Facebook official counterparts."
So there you have it.
Of course, this study was conducted solely on undergrads in monogamous relationships, so it's entirely possible that these findings won't hold true for people who, you know, aren't. But it also makes sense that being Facebook official would have relationship benefits; for one thing, it's usually a step people decide on together, meaning you would have to have some discussion about the nature of your relationship first, and for another, public declarations tend to make people more committed to something in general. That's theoretically why people with lots of wedding guests stay married longer.
Despite the fact the people like to bemoan about how social media is ruining all of our interpersonal relationships, this is not at all the first study to suggest that Facebook is actually good for you and your significant other. There is some evidence to suggest that people who post about their relationship a lot on Facebook are insecure, but other studies have shown that people who do aren't any less happy in their relationships than people who don't, and that the level of Facebook affection you and your romantic partners show is correlated to how committed you are in real life. Plus, it seems Facebook isn't responsible for people cheating either.
Of course, how healthy Facebook becomes once you break up is another story. But until that fateful day which may or may not come, enjoy Facebook-ing about your relationship. Science says it's OK!
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