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A Thematic Analysis exploring the Impact of Social Media Use on Romantic Relationships

Mould, Charlotte (2019) A Thematic Analysis exploring the Impact of Social Media Use on Romantic Relationships. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Whilst research considers the role played by social media in romantic relationships (Van Ouytsel et al., 2016; Vaterlaus et al., 2016), little focuses on potential positive impacts or opinions from sexual minority relationships. Thus, existing research may have provided limited findings into the impact of social media use on relationships. The present research aimed to explore the positive and negative impacts of social media use on romantic relationships, using semi-structured interviews of eight participants. Responses were analysed using thematic analysis in which three themes were formed: interpretation of online actions, digital trace surveillance, and formation and maintenance of romance. Findings suggest that the impact of social media can be both positive and negative, and thus, may affect the maintenance of romantic relationships. Furthermore, future recommendations were discussed, including the suggestion of dyadic interviews to obtain a deeper comprehension of the impact on both partners.

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