Reading Romance: The impact Facebook rituals can have on a romantic relationship [Full text]
Greg Bowe B.A. Mod 
Abstract: Despite the fact that research has identified intimate relationships as being an important factor in how people look to present themselves on social networking sites, there still remains a lack of research in this domain. By comparing trends inside the rituals of the relationship status, public displays of affection and photographs on Facebook this paper examines how they can impact a relationship in the offline world by discussing the extent to which the design and features of the site can impact the emotional repertoire of its users. Results highlighted that the website has the potential to provide a new focus and channel for a person to depict where their relationship is going, feeling rules can be attached to certain rituals on the website. By focusing on the relationship status option and public displays of affection, it was emphasized that these rituals accentuate themes of possession and territory and can be used to configure a couple’s superiority. The discussion on photographs illustrated how the website can bring problems and jealousy to the relationship, particularly when the ‘ex partner’ was taken into account.
Keywords: Online-intimacy, feeling rules, Possession, Jealousy, Online Rituals, Facebook
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