The simple change you can make to your Facebook profile to strengthen your relationship

A new study says that being "Facebook official" with your partner will make your relationship better — but don't go doing so just yet.

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  • A quick change to your Facebook profile could have a long-lasting impact on your marriage or relationship.

  • A new study says that listing your relationship on Facebook — that is to say, being "Facebook official" — means your relationship will last longer and you and your partner will be more committed.

  • The study, published in Computers and Human Behavior, found people who put their relationship status on Facebook will feel more committed and invested in their relationship as opposed to those who don't list their relationship on the social media network, The Daily Dot reported.

  • "These days, becoming 'Facebook official' — declaring the status of your relationship publicly on your social media profile — is an established phase in the relationship life cycle," The Daily Dot reported.

  • To find this, researchers interviewed 170 undergraduates about their social media and relationship habits, specifically how much time they spent on Facebook and how successful they thought they'd be at dating outside of their ongoing relationship, The Daily Dot reported.

  • Researchers found students who spent more time on Facebook were more likely to post their relationship status online, and those who posted their relationship status felt they would have lower success in the dating world.

  • Though the study is good news for Facebook users and those who post about their relationship, the researchers only interviewed a select number of young people — so it may not be the same result for older Americans, The Daily Dot reported.

  • And, other research has found that Facebook can actually hurt your relationship. A 2014 study from Boston University found that spending too much time on Facebook can be a "a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles."

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  • The study looked at data from married Facebook users from 2008 to 2010 and compared that to divorce rates in 43 states. Researchers found that a 20 percent increase in Facebook users in those states led to a 2.18 percent increase in divorce rates. Though this study doesn't mean Facebook causes divorce, marital issues are seen in states that have more Facebook users, researchers said.

  • But Facebook itself can hurt your marriage and relationship in a number of ways, too, Katherine Bindley wrote for The Huffington Post. Not only does the social media website create feelings of jealousy among couples, but divorce lawyers have long cited Facebook as a reason for many American divorces.

  • And even when Facebook itself isn't causing problems, it serves as a gateway to some bigger marital issues.

  • "To be clear, Facebook itself isn't to blame for the demise of domestic bliss," Bindley wrote. "Instead, it's an avenue by which threats can develop if you fail to communicate about them, and one that can exacerbate problems that already exist."

  • But as I wrote for Deseret News National back in February, a study from the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that couples who often post updates about their relationship on social media, especially Facebook, have happier relationships. Specifically, those who posted relationship updates reported higher satisfaction with their partner, the study said.

  • Similarly, a 2013 study found that married couples who posted on Facebook about their marriages were more satisfied with their relationships. The researchers found that couples who put their spouse in their profile picture and posted statuses about their partner had higher relationship satisfaction, the study said.

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  • "You can stop the eye-rolling," Mic's Kate Hakala wrote on these pieces of research. "The road to a happy modern relationship might be paved with the same tagged statuses and selfie shots that you've been posting for years."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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