Are people who take “selfies” more likely to destroy their personal relationships?
A recent study done by two researchers at Florida State University found that people who are obsessed with taking selfies of themselves and sharing these personal photos on social networks like Facebook and Instagram are more likely to experience trouble in their personal relationships.
FSU researchers Jessica Ridgway and Russell Clayton discovered that “selfie people” reported having more conflict with their significant other than people who were not so selfie-obsessed.
Their findings suggest that when one person in a relationship has a habit of posting pictures of themselves on social media sites, the other person may feel intimidated or insecure about it. Furthermore, these negative feelings may lead the other person to frequently monitor their partner’s social media postings.
By regularly monitoring their partner’s selfie posts and social media activity, the other person will be subjecting themselves to all of the likes and comments their partner’s pictures receive from other people on social network sites. This type of excessive selfie posting on the part of one partner and excessive social media monitoring on the part of the other partner can end up creating divisions between the couple, including arguments, infidelity and, finally, broken relationships.
Although Ridgway and Clayton’s selfie study didn’t look directly at the effects of social media surveillance on relationships, other studies have shown that monitoring a partner’s social media profiles leads to distrust, animosity and poor relationship quality between romantic couples.
It is also possible to explain the relationship problems of “selfie posters” with the fact that these people tend to alienate their partner, since they tend to communicate less with their romantic partners and offer less emotional support to them. In addition, people may see narcissistic personality problems associated with people who are preoccupied with taking and sharing selfies publicly.
Other studies have shown that narcissistic people are more likely to be addicted to taking selfies and updating their social media profiles than people who lack this personality trait. In addition, narcissistic people tend to have more problems in one-on-one personal relationships.
Although narcissistic people are often viewed favorably by their partner at the beginning of a relationship, this image deteriorates over time as their large egos and problems with commitments become known.
Ridgway and Clayton’s research doesn’t prove that selfie posting itself causes relationship problems. It is possible that people who tirelessly post selfies online are narcissistic by nature and narcissistic people were known to have relationship problems long before the invention of portable cameras, selfies and social media.
The funny thing is that when Ridgway and Clayton’s study hit the news last week, a new online dating app called Blume, which matches people based on their selfies, was also announced.