Romantic relationship-oriented Facebook activities and the satisfaction of belonging needs.

Facebook plays a role in the development and maintenance of romantic relationships. Theoretically, individuals are motivated to use Facebook in their relationships to increase feelings of belongingness, which is a fundamental human need. Yet, past studies have neither examined the perceptions of Facebook’s influence on increasing closeness in romantic relationships, nor simultaneously examined a wide range of Facebook behaviors that involve romantic partners. Using a belongingness/connection framework, 2 studies examined associations between romantic relationship-oriented Facebook activities, relationship satisfaction, and the perceived effects of Facebook on relationships. Study 1 (N = 93) and Study 2 (N = 255) both illustrated that relationship satisfaction was positively associated with publicly displaying one’s relationship on Facebook but was negatively correlated with displaying more affection on Facebook than the participants normally display offline (excessive displays). Study 2 showed that public displays and private communication on Facebook were positively associated with the perception that Facebook had improved the relationship, and excessive displays of the relationship were perceived as beneficial only for those reporting low relationship satisfaction. Additionally, for those who experienced low levels of jealousy, monitoring was associated with perceptions that Facebook had helped their relationships. For those who experienced high levels of jealousy on Facebook, monitoring was unrelated to perceptions that Facebook improved the relationship. Findings provide evidence that feelings of disconnection from one’s partner could motivate excessive relationship displays on Facebook and that the perceived effect of Facebook on romantic relationships depends on how Facebook is used, which could promote or hinder relationship quality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)