With more than 554 million active users, Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites. Active users of social networking who are in a romantic relationship may find that Twitter-related conflicts cause relationship problems that can become serious enough to result in infidelity or divorce, as described in a study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking , a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until August 2, 2014.
In "The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce," Russell Clayton, University of Missouri-Columbia, presents the findings of a study designed to characterize the relationship between active Twitter use, Twitter-related conflict, and negative relationship outcomes.
The author evaluated the amount of time a person spent on Twitter, how much conflict arose between couples as a result of active Twitter usage, and whether negative relationship outcomes were associated with active Twitter use and Twitter-related conflict. The author also examined whether duration of relationship impacted these outcomes. Clayton found that active Twitter use and Twitter-related conflict were positively associated with an increase in emotional and physical cheating, breakup, and divorce. These outcomes were not impacted by length of romantic relationship.
"Since much of the social networking research is in its infancy, we do not know if other media, such as Instagram will also impact relationships in a negative way," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.