Tweeters Beware: Twitter Just Might Be the End of A Relationship
April 13, 2014

Tweeters Beware: Twitter Just Might Be The End Of A Relationship

Many actions contribute to the downfall of a relationship. Sometimes the end comes as a result of money issues, lack of communications, infidelity, or simple life changes. Recently, though, redOrbit reporter Brett Smith wrote about the impact that Twitter is having on relationships. Previous research has shown that Facebook definitely can contribute to the health of a relationship, and now study author Russell Clayton, a doctoral researcher at the University of Missouri, shows that Twitter also impacts relationships.

According to redOrbit, “Clayton surveyed more than 580 Twitter users of all ages. He asked volunteers questions concerning their Twitter use, including how often they login in, tweet, send direct messages, and reply to followers. The Missouri researcher also asked if any conflict arose between participants’ and their current or former partners as a result of Twitter use, and if so – how much.” His findings showed that the more regularly a Twitter user was active on the social media site, the more likely that user would experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner. Moreover, as Smith wrote, this “then considerably predicted adverse relationship results such as being unfaithful, separation and divorce.”

As if these were not bad enough, Clayton further found no connection between the demise of relationships and Twitter use to the length of the romantic relationship. In his research on Facebook, Clayton found that younger relationships – those 36 months or less – were far more susceptible to relationship troubles related to Facebook use than those of longer durations, but the same did not follow for Twitter.

So, what do couples do who want to keep their Twitter accounts but still keep their relationship stronger and healthy? Well, the redOrbit article suggested sharing joint social networking accounts as well as using social networking that “facilitates interpersonal communication between partners” such as the 2Life app. Moreover, if a couple notices tension or other relationship issues brewing because of the use of Twitter, simply limiting the Twitter use can help. And, of course, open and honest communication is crucial.

This means if one partner feels insecure about the second partner’s social media usage, then the second partner should listen to that insecurity. The first partner should not accuse unwittingly but should honestly communicate the concerns or issues with the second partner’s social media networking.

No social media should get in the way of a good, healthy, and loving relationship. We should actively work to make sure that our partners know that they are more important than any social media. If one happens to start feeling something for someone other than his or her partner on a social media site, then that person must address the situation before infidelity creeps in. Again, it is all about being open and honest.

Social media sites definitely have their perks and benefits including networking for business or professional goals, keeping in contact with old friends and family, and even learning about news and events as well as gaining connections that help one’s education, life, or experiences. Social media can also help some people connect in a variety of other ways. For instance, my friend is married to a mortician, and through a social media site, she was able to join a spouse’s support group, which has greatly helped her cope with a mortician’s very demanding lifestyle. However, the possible negative impacts on our loved ones and our love relationships demand that we address these issues before they erupt into something worse. Real love is worth deleting the Tweets.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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