Nobody Likes Happy Couples on Facebook

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Photo: @kimkardashian

Being a part of a happy, functional relationship is a wonderful, rare thing, and if you’re in one, good for you! But, seriously, shut up about it. Or, at least, shut up about it on social media. Nobody likes Facebook PDA, and what’s more, people will like you less for indulging in it, according to an upcoming paper in the journal Personal Relationships

As part of the study, researchers wrote several fake Facebook status updates and asked participants to use them to rate two things: How happy does this person’s relationship seem? And how much do you like this person? The status updates were designed to reveal varying levels of relationship TMI. For example:

High oversharing: “Pining away for Jordan … I just love you so much I can’t stand it!”

Moderate oversharing: “I love my girlfriend 

Low or no oversharing: “phoneless for a bit, email me!”

Participants assumed the oversharers were in satisfying, committed relationships, but they also liked those (fake) people the least. In a post for Science of Relationships, Benjamin Le, a social psychologist at Haverford College and one of the study’s co-authors, summarizes the paper’s take-home message:  

If you are in a strong relationship, viewers can pick that up from your Facebook profile. However, there is some danger in getting too schmoopie about your relationship on Facebook; although your friends will think your relationship is going well, they will like you less. 

As for those offended by Facebook PDA: Accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can — in this case, by employing the unfollow function