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Technology / Networks

Facebook sharing “damages relationships”

Those who continuously post photos on Facebook run the risk of alienating themselves from the people who view them, possibly damaging relationships with friends, relatives and colleagues who do not "relate well to those who constantly share," research has suggested.

"Those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real life relationships," said David Houghton, of the University of Birmingham.

"This is because people, other than very close friends and relatives, do not seem to relate well to those who constantly share photos of themselves.

"It is worth remembering the information we post to our ‘friends’ on Facebook, actually gets viewed by lots of different categories of people, partners, friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances and each group seems to take a different view of the information shared."

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Houghton’s research also found that partners who shared more photographs of events led to a decrease in intimacy. Similarly, a close friend who shared more photographs of friends could also expect to it to have a negative impact on the quality of that relationship.

The survey of more than 500 Facebook users concluded that the quantity and subject matter of the images have an impact on the level of support and intimacy within relationships.

Photographs of family reflect positively, whereas photos of friends seems to have a negative impact on intimacy.

Brand advertising campaigns that encourage people to post photos of themselves with products also risk damaging relationships, especially with their own fans.

The report said: "While benefiting brand awareness and critical mass of a Facebook fan page for a brand, organisation or cause, sharing photographs may be harmful to those asked to participate."

"My advice for people sharing photos or links with a fan site is think twice and share once," said co-author Ben Marder, of the University of Edinburgh.

"Be cautious when sharing and think how it will be perceived by all the others who may see it. Although sharing is a great way to better relationships it can also damage them."
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.