London: Posting selfies on Instagram may seem like harmless fun but according to a new study, they can negatively affect relationships.
Florida State University researchers have discovered that the more selfies an individual posts on the social media site Instagram, the greater the likelihood he or she might experience romantic relationship conflict and dissolution.
Lead author Jessica Ridgway and Russell Clayton teamed up to examine the predictors and consequences associated with Instagram selfie posting.
Clayton said that though they cannot directly assume cause and effect due to the correlational nature of this study, the results here 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.
The study 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.
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.
In order to prevent negative relationship outcomes from arising, Ridgway and Clayton recommend that Instagram users limit their selfie-posting behaviors, especially when selfie-posting becomes problematic in a user's romantic relationship.
The study is published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.