Effect of social network sites on romantic relationships

Gürsoy, Burak Emre
Wide covering zone of internet and popularity of mobile devices have changed our communication habits extensively. Investigators are showing an increased interest in online interpersonal communication dynamics (Derks, Fischer, & Bos, 2008). Due to their popularity, Social Network Sites (SNS) are at the core of these online relationships including romantic ones. This thesis examines the emerging role of SNS on romantic relationships in the context of relational and individual factors. The present study used a qualitative pilot study to understand the role of SNS in social interactions especially romantic ones. Moreover, an experimental design was also used to evaluate role of relational posts of others on viewers. Specifically, relationship social comparison (RSC) based on posts of others on SNS and its possible effect on relationship satisfaction were analyzed. In addition to that, possible other factors that affect the tendency of making RSC were investigated namely, adult attachment orientation, relationship satisfaction, investment, quality of alternatives and Big 5 personality traits. According to results of Study 1, SNS seem to have an important role in the way we experience our romantic relationships, and it is a reference point for some individuals to evaluate their romantic relationships. However, Study 2 clearly showed that there is no significant effect of exposure to relational posts on RSC or relationship satisfaction. In addition, according to results, anxious and avoidant attachment styles, neuroticism and investments in romantic relationships were positively predicting the tendency to make RSC. On the other hand, relationship satisfaction and openness to experience have a significant negative prediction on RSC tendencies.
Citation Formats
B. E. Gürsoy, “Effect of social network sites on romantic relationships,” Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Graduate School of Social Sciences. Psychology, Middle East Technical University, 2020.