Indian woman taking a selfie
Shutterstock/Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko

How selfies can harm your relationship

By Sarah Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 02:00
About to upload another selfie to Instagram? You might want to think twice. Posting selfies could put your relationship at risk, a recent US study found.

You’re at the beach having a blast with friends. You snap a scantily-clad selfie and post it to Instagram. When you get home that evening, you’ve already got 50 likes. Half of them are from guys. Your boyfriend, however, is not one of them.

What’s up, you wonder, and give him a call. He’s seen your pic… and the comments of the guys who liked it. Though he tries to keep his jealousy in check, it’s a struggle. He wants to know who they are and you end up arguing over whether you should have to tell him.

Sound familiar? It turns out there might be a very real link between jealousy, fighting, and posting selfies on Instagram, according to a recent US study.


In the study, researchers asked 420 Instagram users between the ages of 18 and 62 to fill in online questionnaires. The researchers wanted to know how many selfies the participants posted. They were also curious to see whether people who had good body image tended to post more pics of themselves, and whether that had an impact on their romantic relationships.

People who post a lot of selfies on Instagram could be putting their relationship at risk, the study found. The more selfies a guy or girl uploads, the more arguments they’re likely to have with their partner about those pics as well as the comments and likes they get. This might happen when a person’s partner starts to snoop and monitor their profile, say the researchers. Not surprisingly, what they see could make them jealous.

Body image

Online monitoring, jealousy, and the arguing that results could be the reason people who post lots of selfies may see their relationship take a turn for the worse. Top selfie posters are more likely to be cheated on or have their relationship end in a break-up or divorce, the results showed.

A good body image is linked to posting more selfies, the study also found. Of course, there’s no harm in uploading the occasional great shot of yourself. But this research showed that when it comes to romantic relationships, there might be such a thing as posting too many selfies.

Source: Instagram Unfiltered: Exploring Associations of Body Image Satisfaction, Instagram #Selfie Posting, and Negative Romantic Relationship Outcomes, Ridgway JL, Clayton RB

This article was first published on Feb 20, 2016. The person in the picture is a model. 

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