#Couplegoals: Self-Esteem, Relationship Outcomes, and the Visibility of Romantic Relationships on Social Media - Shelby Hughes, Amanda Champion, Kailie Brown, & Cory L. Pedersen
Social media plays an important role in the development and maintenance of modern relationships. Previous research has investigated why dyadic couples may choose to display their relationships online, and the individual and relational correlates of these visibility decisions. The current study (N = 669) is one of the first to examine specific outcomes of such visibility – in particular, how online relationship visibility influences self-esteem and relationship termination decision-making following a breach of trust.
Although overall social media use was related to low levels of self-esteem, online relationship visibility was not, suggesting that seeking validation on social media is unrelated to relationship maintenance. Further, participant decisions regarding
relationship termination were unaffected by reported levels of social media visibility, suggesting that members of a dyad will not stay in relationships to maintain a social media presence or avoid social consequences online. Finally, there was a negative
correlation between social media use and relationship issue disclosure to family or friends; the more time individuals spent using social media, the less likely they were to confide in others about problems in their romantic relationship. The utility of online
relationship visibility as a predictor of relationship outcomes is discussed, as well as potential antecedents of visibility decisions.
Article in review in the journal, Sexuality & Culture.