McDaniel et al. in, “Are You Going to Delete Me? Latent Profiles of Post-Relationship Breakup Social Media Use and Emotional Distress” argue that break-ups can have a significant impact on how people use social media.
The 256 participants were broken down into three primary groups: clean breakers, reminiscers, and cleansers; of these groups, the distribution was 61.3%, 12.9%, and 15.6%, respectively. The composition of the group was broken down quite well by skin color, income, relationship status(dating, engaged, married), cheating status, and cohabitation. From here, factors like posting, liking, commenting, tagging, and dm-ing were all analyzed and then the results were drawn. The results can be summed up best by the following, “Emotional distress was significantly correlated with all the SM behaviors (r = 0.22–0.56, p’s < 0.001), although associations appeared larger for monitoring/interacting with the ex-partner (r = 0.55–0.56, p’s < 0.001).”
The results from this study fall in line with what I would have expected. Most people have a difficult time with breakups and in today’s world, breakups are very public thanks to social media. In fact, social media seems to be just as big a part of certain lives as physical interaction, so if people aren’t going to be seen in public together, then it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to be seen together online.
If I could add something to this study, I think it would be interesting to see the analysis on either duration of the relationship, or whether or not it was the persons first relationship because I think those often have a significant impact on how people act after a breakup.