Do you ever wonder what keeps you stuck on Facebook for hours at a time, even when you KNOW you have better things to do? Well, a recent article published in Personal Relationships explored how men and women act differently on feelings of jealousy through the use of Facebook in their relationship. The study ultimately found that men tend to avoid, while women tend to fixate on their jealousy.
The study presented people with a picture on Facebook of their boyfriend or girlfriend with a member of the opposite sex in it.
Women were more jealous when it was an unknown person or a mutual friend than when they were told it was their partner’s cousin in the photo. And they stalked significantly more when it was an unknown person than even when it was a mutual friend. Men, on the other hand were not only more jealous when it was a mutual friend than when it was an unknown person, but they stalked significantly less when they were jealous. It seems that men’s response to the jealousy was to avoid the facts of the situation and try to forget about it, while women’s response was to get to the bottom of the mystery by spending a lot of time stalking their romantic partner’s “friend”.
The researchers did another similar study measuring attachment anxiety to see if anxious people were more jealous than non-anxious people. The study found that even if a man was anxiously attached, he didn’t spend much more time stalking his partner on jealous days than on normal days. Women, on the other hand, spent significantly more time stalking when they had attachment anxiety than when they didn’t.
The findings of this research beg the important questions, “Why are women so affected by their attachment anxiety when men seem to be able to shrug it off so easily?” and in this day and age “How are we supposed to protect our real-life relationships from the seeds of discontent facebook-friendships can sow?”. What do you think?