Sunday, August 16, 2009

Facebook Jealousy

I know a lot of posts have been about Facebook lately, but it’s interesting to me how people treat this social network.

This article was posted last week on a former coworker’s profile and I got a little fired up. 

Be careful when you surf Facebook, or your relationship status may go from "married" to "it's complicated," researchers warn.

The more time you spend on the social networking site, the more likely you are to feel jealous, according to a study from the University of Guelph.

It goes on to discuss specific cases of divorces and break-ups that are being blamed on Facebook, and it really made me smack my forehead.   People seem to be in agreement that Facebook makes it easier to cheat, so people are more likely to do it.

I feel quite strongly about this: Facebook isn't assisting or causing relationship problems.  Where’s the trust?  Someone writes something ambiguous on your partner’s wall, you have two choices: ask your partner about it or fucking forget about it.  It’s Facebook.  Chances are, a post like that is only going to cause you relationship troubles if you’re taking Facebook too seriously (which it seems like most people do). 

That aside, I'm sure the students at Guelph would've rather had a few new flat screen TV's somewhere on campus than have money put toward this ridiculous "study". I hope this wasn't someone's graduate degree research.

Bottom line: People who cheat were going to cheat anyway. Correlation does not equal cause. 

…perhaps there should be a follow-up "study": people who claim to be a victim of relationship problems caused by Facebook vs. their IQ.

Anyway, Facebook does have its perks.  I have recently gotten hooked on the FarmVille game.  Check out my sweet farm:



Lojo Beautiful said...

Yeah, I agree. People who use facebook as an outlet to cheat are obviously in cheating mode anyway. To say that facebook causes cheating is a huge oversimplification, really. I was just browsing through facebook and suddenly my vagina fell on some dude's saddle and now I am divorced. Awesome.

I do believe that facebook, MSN messenger, and other forms of online socializing can cause additional stressors in relationships. I don't know anyone in my personal circle, including myself, who hasn't run into some sort of conflict in their relationships due to this new form of networking, and with that in consideration, I guess I am glad that people are at least discussing it.

Due to the effortlessness of online networking, I think the boundaries of "real life" relationships can sometimes become blurry. For example, am I going to phone some former lover once a week to say hi? Probably not. Am I going to add him to my facebook and shoot the shit once in awhile? I am willing to bet that a lot of people would. Due to some negative experiences I've had with online socializing in the past, I now know that it is important for me to discuss, at least to some degree, boundaries and expectations regarding this with new partners. Unfortunately, I doubt a lot of people have such conversations.

It's definitely an interesting cultural phenomenon and it will be cool to see what kind of discussion/ research will surface surrounding the issue throughout the next couple of decades.

Dylan Laine said...

Of course, Facebook made me cheat!!! I'm in no way responsible for my actions... stupid... what a waste of time... I love how it's easier to blame the site, opposed to the person... It's like England all over again... It's not their fault they don't listen, it's your fault... bullshit!

twitch said...

You're right. I look at it that way too. Would I call the ex ever to catch up? No. Would I cross the street to say hello to my ex? Probably not. So why should I concern myself with their every move via Facebook? Why can't exes just move on and break contact like they're supposed to. Are your parents friends with their exes? Mine certainly aren't. It doesn't work that way.

Exes being Facebook besties makes things really complicated for everyone. A few months ago, Matt's ex was metaphorically pissing all over his "wall" with inside jokes, marking what she must have thought to be her territory. Honestly, I can't understand where she got that impression: I guess moving across the earth [twice] with your new girlfriend is the international signal for failing relationship. Anyway, I just ignored it. Eventually she showed her true colours [childish, jealous and impulsive], over-reacted and the situation resolved itself.

I'm confident enough in myself and my relationship to know that I'm a great girlfriend and if he wanted to be somewhere else, he wouldn't hesitate to go. So the fact that he hasn't [gone] means that nothing's lacking and I have nothing to worry about.

I usually write off online chatter completely. Jealousy doesn't rear its ugly head until a secret rendezvous is had or middle of the night phone calls are being made. Then I might get a little concerned about fidelity, because those things take real effort. One can write whatever they want on Facebook with the click of a mouse, you don't have to mean it when no one sees your face or hears you.

30 Helens agree: Facebook isn't real life.