What your Facebook profile says about your relationships
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A study co-authored by psychologists in Turkey, Australia and the US draws a link between the way we manage our social media presence and the way we interact and form relationships in the real world. The research carried out by Gillath, Karantzas and Selcuk dissects the different patterns in social network management and uses attachment theory to explain them. But what is attachment theory? In a few words, this model developed by John Bowlby in the 1960s refers to the unique and personal connection we have with someone. Our relationship style can be a connection of security or one of insecurity, avoidance and anxiety, explains Gillath. Someone with a high insecurity attachment level is often unable to trust people while someone with high avoidance finds intimacy challenging. An anxious type, on the other hand, would live in fear of rejection and abandonment. While it was known that attachment theory is central to the way we form relationships, the study offered a surprising finding: it also plays a role in how we manage our social media relationships. So how did they figure it out? By carrying out different studies the team were able to identify the participants' attachment style and then benchmark their online friend circles based on two attributes: network tie strength and multiplexity.
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