It’s only natural to want to post good-looking photos of ourselves on Facebook – sharing is what the social network is all about, after all. But before you go uploading a couple rolls of the film to the site, you had better read this: New research suggests that sharing selfies online leads to a decrease in intimacy with your partner.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham, University of the West of England, Heriot Watt University and University of Edinburgh joined together to see how the photographs people upload to Facebook impacts their social standing. Study participants were asked to rate how frequently a certain Facebook friend shares photos of themselves and family. Participants were also asked to rate the quality of their relationship with the person whose photos they reviewed.
It turns out that no one likes a narcissist. “Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy,” reads the study. One notable exception is relatives: Your mom is going to love you no matter how often you mug for the camera.
The study also found that certain types of pictures are better received than others. “A partner sharing more photographs depicting family or events was related to increased scores of support, whereas a partner sharing more photographs of friends was related to a decreased score of support.” Jealousy, perhaps?
The study's authors conclude that "individuals should actively adjust their privacy settings to ensure that ... disclosure does not harm current and potential relationships." For more information on how to do that, read our comprehensive guide to Facebook privacy settings.
A link to the full study is available here (PDF).