A study has revealed that Facebook-addicted college students are more likely to feel jealous toward their romantic partners. This traps them in a vicious cycle of envy.
Such a tendency leads students to spend more time on Facebook as they search for additional information that will further fuel their jealousy, in an escalating cycle that may become addictive.
Researchers at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) surveyed young adults involved in romantic relationships.
They found that those who spent time on social networking sites, such as Facebook, may be exposed to information about their partners that makes them jealous, leading them to spend more time involved in online surveillance and to uncover even more jealousy-provoking information.
The study has described a vicious cycle in which Facebook use and feelings of jealousy become intertwined, and have a negative influence on behaviour and relationships.
Some participants in the study described their increasing use of Facebook as "addictive".
The authors have recommended further research to explore this feedback loop and to determine whether a similar relationship between online social networking and jealousy toward a partner affects older adults as well.
"This research on university age individuals is an excellent starting point to begin asking additional questions on how this new forum might be impacting the dynamics of adult relationships and other social processes," said Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Editor-in-Chief of CyberPsychology and Behaviour.
The study has been published in CyberPsychology and Behavior, a peer-reviewed journal.