In the first study of its kind, researchers found that posting on social media can harm romantic relationships—unless you also post about your significant other. Friendships weren’t affected in this way, likely because expectations are higher when intimacy is involved.
Sharing personal thoughts on Instagram or Facebook can make your SO feel excluded or unimportant because you chose to confide in your following first, says study author Juwon Lee, a post-doctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Adding your partner to your feed can mitigate that and make him or her feel validated.
“It implies that you consider the person an important part of your life,” Lee says. “That might feel artificial, but the online space is an artificial environment.” If someone feels valued in that space, the feeling can translate in the real world as well.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Tagging your SO in your status about a night out or posting group photos that include both of you is enough to strengthen your bond, Lee says.