Selfies are being blamed for everything from social media addiction to really tiny pants, and that’s when they feature only one person. Double the humans and you double the hate, says a new study by the Science of Relationships, which has officially deemed the “relfie” a thing.
Pronounced the same way you pronounce the act of vomiting, the “relfie,” is “a selfie that includes a relationship partner or someone else you are close to (like a parent and child).” In its most hated form, according to a quick survey I did of my own opinion, it includes your lover. Your #bae, your boo, the star of your #MCM EVERY FREAKING WEEK.
Science wanted to know what your relfie, and other information you provide about your relationship on Facebook, says about your romance. The good? It will make your relationship appear stronger.
Our coding team then judged how satisfied and committed they thought each participant was based only the information provided in each Facebook profile. Participants with relfies and dyadic relationship statuses were judged to have higher quality relationships (satisfaction and commitment). We also found there was a significant association between coders’ perceptions of relationship quality and participants answers on the questionnaires they completed regarding their own relationship quality. In short, viewers can glean your relationship quality relatively accurately from what you post about your relationship on Facebook, and they perceive your relationship as better when you have a dyadic profile picture (like a relfie) and dyadic relationship status.
But how do your friends react to that information? With the fire of a thousand suns setting over a pair of hot dog legs, apparently:
When it comes to status updates, we found that higher levels of relationship disclosure were positively associated with perceptions of satisfaction and commitment. However, when it comes to relationship disclosure on Facebook, there can be too much of a good thing. Those disclosing a lot about their relationships were the least liked.
Note that there are socially acceptable ways to share a relfie. But social media is all about making people like you — and no matter how strong the relationship IRL, your boo can tap that button once.