How Facebook 'Saves' One Kind of Couple

Public displays of affection play a big role, study says
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
'Annoying' Facebook Couples Get Surprise Result
In this July 9, 2011 file photo, Facebook president and CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks with his wife Priscilla Chan in Sun Valley, Idaho.    (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Those oh-so-cute couples who share everything on Facebook? Looks like they may stay together longer. Judging by 180 straight, undergraduate couples in a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, those who list themselves as "in a relationship" and share couple photographs are more likely to be together after six months, Bloomberg reports. Researchers call their study "The Couple Who Facebooks Together, Stays Together" and liken online declarations to other commitments made it public: "The claims people make about themselves in public are likely to be very influential in how they think about themselves," study co-author Catalina Toma tells "Now we're finding that these public self-presentations performed on Facebook also affect how people feel about a relationship partner."

In other words, she says, commitments made before lots of people on Facebook may be like wedding vows made before family and friends. But people who post often on a partner's wall have less chance of making the six-month cut, perhaps because oversharing feels like possessiveness, says Toma. She adds that more shared friends also hurt relationship commitment, possibly giving partners more romantic options. Now, would studying older people over a longer period of time bring different results? Laura Beck (a self-described "Old") writes at Cosmopolitan that in her experience, people who post "how much they looooOOooove their significant others are often hanging on by a thread in their IRL relationship—they doth protest too much, ya know?" (See what "insecure people" post on Facebook.)

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