Effect of Social Media on People’s Perception of Marriage
Research Question: Does social media have an effect on people’s perception of marriage?
Hypothesis: Do increases in social media use affect the happiness of married couples?
Prediction Statment: Married couples who have higher use of social media are more likely to have marital problems and conflicts.
As social beings, we require the ability to share ideas, work together, and talk about how we are feeling. However, in the modern era, we use the internet and social media as our primary means of communication. More than ever, communities rely on social media platforms for self-expression rather than in-person meetings. However, social media’s value and significance can range widely from user to user. An ever-growing body of research indicates that social media addiction has surpassed all others in recent years, with far-reaching consequences for individuals and society. Addiction to social media, especially among married people, has been shown to negatively affect relationships. Social media has a highly variable impact on romantic relationships. Social media may benefit couples by giving them a place to interact and feel supported, but when used improperly, it can lead to conflict and resentment. This essay specifically seeks to examine how social media has impacted the nature of relationships amongst white couples. To achieve this, a survey including over 287 people will be conducted. Social media, as expected, has a serious negative impact on relationships.
Effect of Social Media on People’s Perception of Marriage
People have been utilizing verbal and nonverbal signs to communicate their emotions and thoughts to one another for centuries. Modern communication technologies have made face-to-face meetings obsolete (Farrugia, 2013). People are more inclined to provide sensitive information and feel more intimate when they speak with one another rather than in person (Saeed et al., 2017).
Social media is regarded more for its capacity to satiate users’ social and emotional demands than for its capacity to meet informational needs (Farrugia, 2013). The growing usage of social media has changed how individuals interact and communicate. It is a terrific approach to discovering more about the individuals you care about and are familiar with. Nevertheless, using social media has also made problems in close relationships worse. Numerous studies have indicated that utilization of social media can be damaging to marriages and other devoted relationships (McDaniel, Drouin & Cravens, 2017). Due to people spending more time on social media, there is an increase in infidelity, arguments, jealousy, and separation. Relationships may be strained due to a person’s use of social media and how much time they spend there. According to studies, relationships that spend too much time on social media struggle to communicate and finally split up (Amedie, 2015). Based on each survey respondent’s replies, the study’s model contends that using social media does not make relationships any happier compared to using it infrequently or never.
A suspicious or jealous partner might easily gather information by asking about their spouse’s social media activities. Seeing something suspicious on their partner’s Facebook account might make them apprehensive about their worries being justified. This causes more continuous checking in and envy in many relationships. The more frequently someone checks their partner’s Facebook profile, the more envious and suspicious they claim to feel. Unfortunately, it is frequently reasonable to assume foul play in relation to a partner’s online behavior. Seldom will more than one in ten people openly admit to hiding intimate messages from their partner. Just 8% of married or committed people claim they do not utilize their partner’s money for their own reasons. Online affairs are also the cause of one-third of all divorced couples. It is simpler than ever for a disgruntled spouse to locate a new companion, get back together with an old flame, or have a one-night stand in the age of smartphones and social media applications. Surprisingly, 30% of Tinder users are wed. Every month, almost 130 million people worldwide go to AshleyMadison.com, which is exclusive to married people searching for affairs.
The benefits of marriage, such as protection, companionship, love, emotional support, and understanding, appeal to potential spouses. Despite all the upsides, married life is not without its fair share of stress, tension, fights, and disagreements between partners. Studies examining the potential effects of social media use on marriage and family life are increasing. According to a recent survey in the US, 10% of internet users believe that social media has had an immense influence on their relationships, and 17% see it as having some impact (Mazur et al., 2019). They found that online chats brought people closer to their partners and that many couples could resolve arguments through social media that they had been unable to do in person. Some, however, have complained that their partner is constantly preoccupied with their phone and is frequently irritated by how much time they spend online or what they do there. For example, one groundbreaking study discovered that Facebook use predicted unfavorable relationship outcomes like divorce, separation, and infidelity (Clayton et al., 2013). Only when there was an argument about Facebook use did this study predict such results, and only for couples who had been together for three years or fewer. Similar results relating to Twitter were mentioned in the poll (Clayton, Nagurney & Smith, 2013). Increased Twitter use was associated with poor outcomes in romantic relationships. Despite this, research was not discovered that the length of a couple’s relationship affected their social media usage or their level of marital happiness.
Those who were more active on Twitter and utilized it more regularly were more likely to experience conflicts using Twitter, which predicted unfavorable outcomes in their relationships, regardless of their length. Further research by Ridgway & Clayton (2016), which expanded the original study to Instagram, also revealed that sharing selfies on the platform can cause relationship tension. Recently, researchers examined how social media use influences married people in the United States. According to a recent survey, Facebook predicted higher divorce rates in 43 US states (Valenzuela et al., 2014). Social media usage was also associated with decreased marital happiness, conflict, and quality of life.
Researchers have also looked at the causes of interpersonal problems online. Helsper and Whitty (2010) discovered that 920 married couples reported engaging in online infidelity behaviors such as flirting, sexting, falling in love, and exchanging personal information. Cravens, Leckie, and Whiting (2013) assert that Facebook has elements that could facilitate infidelity. Accepting a friend request from an ex, reading and responding to private messages, commenting on and “liking” attractive photos, and falsely declaring your relationship status are all examples. Scientists have started correlating these online activities to several aspects of relationship commitment, which can be dangerous for loyalty and trustworthiness. No research has explored whether using online services that could contribute to infidelity is associated with decreased marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
Statement of the Problem
While the ramifications of social media on American relationships are recognized, it is essential to continue studying this issue further. Despite considerable research on the subject, this is because most still need broadening in scope and methodology. Doing more in-depth research on how social media use affects different relationships is necessary. Second, studies find it difficult to keep up with the constant changes in the nature and operation of social media platforms. New additions may affect relationships differently when different types of couples use them. That said, jealousy, worry, and mistrust might result from keeping tabs on your partner’s online activity. Those who already struggle with low self-esteem may be further damaged by their partner’s negative social media behavior since they will interpret it as a reflection of their shortcomings (Farrugia, 2013). Hence, this investigation considers the repercussions of social media on marriage within the White population – a demographic whose online activity is rising exponentially.
The analytical framework Social Exchange Theory is used to examine how social media affects intimate relationships in the US. According to the Social Exchange Theory, people weigh the pros and cons of interacting with others before making a choice (Stafford & Kuiper, 2021). In romantic relationships, people may utilize social media to provide and receive information, emotional support, and validation from their significant others. However, using social media may come with a cost, such as increased rivalry, distrust, and disputes over screen time. Social Exchange Theory might be used by researchers looking at how social media use affects relationships to make well-informed predictions. For instance, they would assume that couples who see social media use as having a better benefit-to-cost ratio will also report more relationship satisfaction and fewer conflicts due to technology use. Finally, Social Exchange Theory can provide a framework for understanding how individuals make decisions regarding their use of social media and how this might affect their relationships, thereby helping to organize empirical data in the field. Scientists can use this theory to formulate research questions, create study designs, and analyze results.
Does social media affect people’s perception of marriage?
Do increases in social media use affect the happiness of married couples?
Married couples with higher use of social media are more likely to have marital problems and conflicts.
One definition of an independent variable is a variable that the researcher alters to see how it affects other variables. By contrast, a dependent variable is one whose value shifts in response to changes in the independent variable. Through this examination, we will investigate how social media can shape public attitudes toward marriage. Social media usage will be the “independent variable” in this experiment. Engagement on social media by participants will be the study’s independent variable (in quantity and quality of time spent online). This will be evaluated using self-reported data, such as survey questions regarding how frequently and long individuals use various social media platforms. When discussing people’s perceptions of marriage as the dependent variable, it refers to their thoughts on the institution of marriage, what they think it is for, and how they anticipate it to affect their lives. This can be gauged by asking respondents to rate their agreement with statements about marriage or by allowing them to elaborate on their thoughts and experiences on marriage through open-ended questions.
This research on the influence of social media on people’s views of marriage seeks to encompass a diverse demographic, encompassing all genders, ages, and levels of commitment. This study will use stratified sampling techniques or recruiting strategies that target persons of different ages, genders, or cultural backgrounds to reduce the likelihood of bias in the data and ensure that the results may be generalized to the greater community.
The proposed testing materials/assessments or interventions will involve the creation of a survey questionnaire that will determine the respondents’ social media habits and views on marriage. Participants must also log their social media activity for a given time, which is another intervention. The marriage perception scale will be developed as the third evaluation tool to gauge how people feel about marriage.
Study Survey Instrument
To gather information, a questionnaire will be created and administered to participants between April 2023 and May 2023. Oklahoma couples who are married will be the focus of the survey. To understand how social media affects both sexes, we will ask both couples to take out the survey separately. Researchers will also respond to participant emails and WhatsApp messages to field any questions about the survey. Experts will check and validate the survey questionnaire to ensure accurate and in-depth data collection and that all questions are well understood.
Amedie, J. (2015). The impact of social media on society.
Clayton, R. B., Nagurney, A., & Smith, J. R. (2013). Cheating, breakup, and divorce: Is Facebook used to blame? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(10), 717-720.
Cravens, J. D., Leckie, K. R., & Whiting, J. B. (2013). Facebook infidelity: When poking becomes problematic. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35, 74-90.
Farrugia, R. C. (2013). Facebook and relationships: A study of how social media use affects long-term relationships—Rochester Institute of Technology.
Helsper, E. J., & Whitty, M. T. (2010). Netiquette within married couples: Agreement about acceptable online behavior and partner surveillance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(5), 916-926.
Mazur, E., Signorella, M. L., & Hough, M. (2019). The internet behavior of older adults. In Advanced methodologies and technologies in media and communications (pp. 405-416). IGI Global.
McDaniel, B. T., Drouin, M., & Cravens, J. D. (2017). Do you have anything to hide? Infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites and marital satisfaction. Computers in human behavior, 66, 88-95.
Ridgway, J. L., & Clayton, R. B. (2016). Instagram unfiltered: Exploring associations of body image satisfaction, Instagram# selfie posting, and adverse romantic relationship outcomes. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(1), 2-7.
Stafford, L., & Kuiper, K. (2021). Social exchange theories: Calculating the rewards and costs of personal relationships. In Engaging ideas in interpersonal communication (pp. 379-390). Routledge.
Valenzuela, S., Halpern, D., & Katz, J. E. (2014). Social network sites, marriage well-being, and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 94-101.
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