Regular use of Twitter may have a harmful effect on marriages and romantic relationships, leading to constant conflicts between couples, a new study reveals. The study followed up on previous research which showed similar impacts for Facebook and raises questions about whether social network use in general is bad for relationships.
The study appearing in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that "active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce."
The author, University of Missouri doctoral researcher Russell Clayton, concluded that these findings add to the evidence about social network use's dark side for personal relationships.
Clayton's research published in the same journal last year found that a high level of Facebook usage was associated with "negative relationship outcomes."
The journal's editor-in-chief Brenda Wiederhold said these findings highlight the need for more study on social network use.
"Since much of the social networking research is in its infancy, we do not know if other media, such as Instagram will also impact relationships in a negative way," she said in a statement.
Clayton found that the more often a respondent reported being active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with a partner.
"Based on the findings from both studies, Twitter and Facebook use can have damaging effects on romantic relationships," he said in the study.
"That is, when (social networking) use becomes problematic in one's romantic relationship, risk of negative relationship outcomes may follow."