Beware: Jealous Partners are Monitoring Social Media Accounts

Interpersonal conflicts in a romantic relationship can arise from social media use. Some individuals become addicted to social media and ignore their partner’s emotional, physical, and psychological needs. Some partners in a dyadic relationship engage in sexually explicit activities with extra-dyadic partners on social media. Research supports that social media use while in a romantic relationship is linked with jealousy, which is fueled by insecurity and lack of trust. To protect their mate, jealous partners monitor their partner’s social media accounts. Due to the lack of privacy in an online setting, individuals can monitor their partner’s accounts discreetly and/or open phony social media accounts to avoid suspicion. Monitoring romantic partners’ social media accounts is positively linked with interpersonal conflicts. A study conducted on 373 individuals in a romantic relationship (single or engaged) found that social media use is directly related with conflict in a romantic relationship. Moreover, social media use is also positively related to jealousy and partner’s account monitoring, but not infidelity. Jealousy, partner’s account monitoring, and infidelity are all independently related to conflict in a romantic relationship. Researchers also found that social media use is related to conflict through jealousy and partner’s account monitoring. In essence, jealousy and partner’s account monitoring mediated the relationship between social media use and conflict. However, Infidelity partially mediated the relationship between social media use and conflict because social media use itself does not predict infidelity, but infidelity predicts conflicts.

For Further Reading

Arikewuyo, A. O., Lasisi, T. T., Abdulbaqi, S. S., Omoloso, A. I., & Arikewuyo, H. O. (2020). Evaluating the use of social media in escalating conflicts in romantic relationships. Journal of Public Affairs, e2331. https:// doi.org/10.1002/pa.2331

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About author

Dr. Abbasi founded mindfulrelation.com as a ‘go-to-website’ where couples can learn ways to avoid harmful online behaviors and improve the quality of their relationship. In her research, Dr. Abbasi examined how social media use is linked with romantic relationship problems, mental health, personality, and mood.

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