When tweeting turns toxic

Published On: Jul 24 2014 11:36:31 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 25 2014 07:30:00 AM EDT

People use twitter for a lot of different reasons, but a new study finds too much tweeting could affect your relationship.

"People who, by and large, express that they use Twitter a lot. On the average, about 52 minutes a day- that's a lot. And they suffer, relationship-wise, as a result of that involvement."

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Scott Bea said nearly 600 twitter followers were surveyed by researchers at Zucker Hillside Hospital.

They found, on average, tweeters were spending nearly an hour a day, five days a week, on Twitter. Researchers subsequently linked this behavior to lots of conflict with their significant other. This includes cheating and even break-ups.

Dr. Bea said a social media addiction is similar to a gambler's addiction.
"On the average, once every 50th Tweet you see or send your brain is delighted. You can start chasing that good feeling or chasing that excitement and over-invest in it. And just like a gambler's addiction, you don't get paid off every time, you only get paid off once in a while and that makes a strong allegiance to that slot machine."

Researchers consider conflict over Twitter, or any social media, a symptom of relationship problems, not necessarily a cause. They say overuse can lead to mistrust, so they suggest sharing social media accounts.
Dr. Bea likes the idea, but says there's nothing like a little face to face conversation.

"Imagine if you invested 52 minutes a day actively listening to your loved ones, what the payoff would be for that," Dr. Bea said. "Now, it might not excite your brain at the same level, but it would probably create bonds, help with problem solving and probably predict greater longevity."

To read more about the study that finds Twitter could be bad for your marriage or relationship, click here.


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