Snapchat Is Messing With Your Relationship

Sure, social media can aid in your booty calls or help you uncover the love of your life, but it can also completely wreck your relationship by stoking the emerald flames of jealousy. While Facebook has been shown to encourage cheating, Snapchat inspires jealousy worse than Facebook does, says a new study published in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Researchers initially thought that the public availability of information and images on Facebook would theoretically elicit more jealousy from a partner. However, they actually found that the private and "self-destructing" nature of Snapchat leads to more turmoil because information passed through the app is seen as "secretive and suspicious."

To begin, the authors surveyed 77 male and female participants in western Europe who were predominately heterosexual, although they did include two men and two women who identified as homosexual and one woman who identified as bisexual. Each participant answered questions about their personal lives, Facebook use, and Snapchat use. They then were asked questions on a "jealousy scale," which included hypothetical scenarios and how they might feel in response to them. In most cases, Snapchat outranked Facebook in the ways it inspired jealousy, except if a partner were to receive a "wall post from an unknown member of the opposite sex" on Facebook.

Interestingly, gender had no significant bearing on the results, nor did differing levels of self-esteem. The study authors admitted that their research was limited by the size of their participant pool, but noted that it is far more difficult to find active users of Snapchat than it is active users of Facebook. There are many reasons that jealousy is a total a waste of time, but knowing what causes it can, in some cases, help eradicate it. Early research like this, however rudimentary, is useful to piece together a broader picture of the ways social media has transformed the landscape of our romantic relationships — for better and for worse.

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