Facebook, what choice do we have? We all kinda hate it, we all get annoyed by smug posts, boring posts, posts urging us to vote (as long as it’s for the right side of course), tedious baby photos, photos of other people on holiday, photos of anyone looking like they’re enjoying themselves – and, yet, slaves to the matrix that we are, dutifully we load it up and make ourselves more miserable.
But wait, because when you see those nauseating loved-up selfies and ‘romantic’ status updates about the relationships of your acquaintances – you know the ones we mean, they usually involve a photograph of something utterly banal, such as a bubble bath, and a line about how they’re so lucky (#blessed) because their partner knows how to turn on a tap – things aren’t quite as they might first appear.
Because, as it turns out, Ronan Keating was on to something: we really do say it best when we say nothing at all. Online, at least.
It seems as if those who prefer not to present themselves as #relationshipgoals are, in fact, the ultimate #relationshipgoals, because they’re the happiest and most content couples of all, according to new research conducted by a team from American and Canadian universities.
“On a daily basis, when people feel more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tend to make their relationships [more] visible,” the paper states.
Couples who feel more secure in their relationships, on the other hand, are less likely to brag about them on social media – they are not seeking validation and are too busy living “in the moment” to update their status.
It’s not the first time that this theory has been postulated: sexologist Nikki Goldstein previously told Mail Online: “Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media.
“The likes and comments can be so validating that when someone is really struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people will say about it.”
This is supported by the fact that happier people, in general, tend to use social media far less than those who are unhappy with their lot – although this, in itself, is a ‘chicken or egg’ question, especially as scientists have found that we’re more likely to become depressed after using Facebook.
Then again, a separate study found another nuance to the issue of how visible our relationships should be on social media. And, as it turns out, displaying our relationship status on Facebook at all suggests that we’re more “satisfied, committed, invested, and with lower perceived relational alternatives”.
Or, in other words, individuals in relationships that are ‘Facebook official’ report being in more committed, stronger relationships than non-Facebook official counterparts – just make sure you then don’t post anything about it. Got it?
While we’re on Keating though, what an absolute banger and no mistakin’.