Selfies are related to low-quality romantic relationships, says study


Selfie is very common in social media culture. With a smart phone or webcam, one can take a photo of self and upload it to a social networking website like Facebook or Instagram.

Although selfies are quite popular, studies have linked them with negative personality traits. For example, posting selfies is heavily related to narcissism that has too much dominance and superiority.

Selfie posting is also related to thrill-seeking, weak self-control, and impulsivity. Research suggests that people who upload their selfies too fast without editing may be self-centered and have little empathy.

In a recent study, researchers find that selfies are related to low-quality romantic relationships. The study is published in Telematics and Informatics.

Researchers conducted an online survey examine whether posting selfies affects the quality of the romantic relationships. Responses from 1225 participants were collected.

Participants answered questions about their relationship quality, how often they argued with their significant others about pictures (including selfies) on social networking sites, jealousy feelings due to the other’s posting selfies on social media sites, why they took selfies, and how often thy took selfies,

The result showed that many people took selfies because it helped them feel more handsome/pretty than in real-life. They also believed that they had to show their best face in selfies. In addition, they felt bad when no one commented on or “like” their selfies.

Researchers found that the frequency of posting selfies was related to jealousy on social media sites between romantic partners. Posting selfies was also associated with conflicts in the relationships.

So why taking more selfies is related to worse romantic relationships? Researchers gave two reasons. First, when people share too much selfies, their partner will be more likely to feel jealous.

Second, when people shares flattering images of themselves, they create an online ideal persona in their mind that is different from real-life. This conflict can decrease the relationship quality.

Researchers suggest that although communication is very important in romantic relationships, heavy selfies taking and posting may show too much communication.

Citation: Halpern D, Katz JE, Carril C. (2017). The online ideal persona vs. the jealousy effect: Two explanations of why selfies are associated with lower-quality romantic relationships. Telematics and Informatics, 34: 114-123. doi:
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