According to researchers from Florida State University, more selfies an individual posts on the social media site Instagram, the greater the likelihood he or she might experience conflict in romantic relationship.
“The results show that body image satisfaction can be detrimental to Instagram users’ romantic relationships, especially when users’ body image satisfaction is promoted in the form of Instagram selfie posts,” explained lead author Jessica Ridgway and assistant professor Russell Clayton.
The duo teamed up to examine the predictors and consequences associated with Instagram selfie posting.
With an online survey of 420 Instagram users between the ages of 18 to 62, the researchers found that Instagram selfie posting is associated with and predicted by an individual’s overall body image satisfaction.
In other words, those who think they look good are more likely to post selfies.
However, Instagram selfie posting behaviours were found to be associated with increased Instagram-related relationship conflict.
The researchers defined Instagram-related conflict as jealousy and arguments occurring due to either or both partners’ Instagram selfie posting behaviours.
Not surprisingly, Instagram-related conflict was found to be associated with increased negative romantic relationship outcomes, which were defined as emotional or physical infidelity, breakup and divorce.
“The results from this study provide an avenue for future body image research,” Ridgway said in a paper published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.
The findings contributes to a growing body of scholarly literature that has examined the predictors and consequences associated with using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“For instance, future research could examine whether social media users post images of their actual selves or their virtual ideal selves, and whether such online behaviours are associated with similar negative outcomes found in our study,” the authors noted.
In order to prevent negative relationship outcomes from arising, Instagram users must limit their selfie posting behaviours, especially when selfie posting becomes problematic in a user’s romantic relationship.