When you’re extremely happy and in love, it’s rather tempting to tell the entire world (including all of your Facebook friends) about how wonderful your partner is. But a recent study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that social media users who constantly feel the need to make Facebook friends aware of their romantic dealings felt less secure in their relationships. The study examined the psychological factors that drive “relationship visibility” on Facebook.
“People often attempt to shape others’ perceptions of them, but the role of romantic relationships in this process is unknown,” the study’s abstract reads. “The present set of studies investigates relationship visibility, the centrality of relationships in the self-images that people convey to others. We propose that attachment underlies relationship visibility and test this hypothesis across three studies in the context of Facebook.
Avoidant individuals showed low desire for relationship visibility, whereas anxious individuals reported high desired visibility (Studies 1 and 2); however, similar motives drove both groups’ actual relationship visibility (Study 1). Moreover, both avoidant individuals and their partners were less likely to make their relationships visible (Studies 1 and 3). On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships visible (Study 3). These studies highlight the role of relationships in how people portray themselves to others.”
So the next time one of your Facebook pals is doing the absolute most, chances are they’re not as confident in their relationship as they’re putting on.