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Too much Twitter leads to infidelity and divorce, study shows

A University of Missouri study finds that active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict with their romantic partners.

Love and Twitter. Go together like a horse and a Prius. TCGames/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

Humanity's new, Web-based sharing essence is, at heart, divisive.

We've seen so often that what occurs on the Web is misconstrued, spills over into real life, and causes painful friction.

Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that too much Facebook can make you unfaithful. We have, after all, abdicated our real responsibilities in favor of our virtual world. We are mere weak vessels being buffeted by our inner chemicals and fears.

Perhaps it all started when a woman sued a man for ending their Facebook relationship.

We're never going to learn, though. So this latest piece of information seems but a formality: Twitter has been linked with infidelity and divorce.

You see, "Human Beings Linked With Infidelity And Divorce" just isn't so enticing.

Instead, I must tell you about a study at the University of Missouri that reveals that "active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict with their romantic partners." This conflict apparently leads to infidelity and even divorce.

Is it that people see a different side of their twittering lovers? Is it that they find they cannot patrol their lover's activities enough, with a tweet, a retweet, or a favoriting taking a mere second?

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has already concluded that the more people use Facebook, the more likely they are to drift into relationship mayhem, especially if the relationship is less than 36 months old.

Here, though, the source of love gone astray is absolute. Clayton said: "I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced Twitter-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship."

His study, named "The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce," makes for difficult reading.

Clayton's 571 subjects ranged in age from 18 to 67, so one can't toss this toward the naivete and hormonal imbalance of youth.

Perhaps it's the newsiness of Twitter that stuns lovers into poor judgment. Perhaps its very immediacy leads to a lack of aforethought and an ignorance of potential consequences.

There again, it could be that people are naturally thoughtless and social media gives them more outlets to propagate their own base impulses at the expense of others.

You'll be stunned to hear that Clayton offers his own remedies: "Users should cut back to moderate, healthy levels of Twitter use if they are experiencing Twitter or Facebook-related conflict. Some couples share joint social networking site accounts to reduce relationship conflict, and there are some social networking site apps, such as the 2Life app, that facilitate interpersonal communication between partners."

Just as you need to cut back on Facebook and Twitter to save your relationship, you need an app to help your relationship grow.

Doing it yourself, without technological help, is so very last century.