What effect does Snapchat have on your relationship?


In my previous post, I’ve examined Snapchat explained every aspect of the app; whether that may be how the app works, who are the founders, or even the features the app offers and the popularity of the fairly new app. But have you ever thought about when it comes to most social networks, we rarely pay attention to the effects that it may have on its users’ and their relationships? Snapchat being one of these social networks take part in having some type of effect on its users. Specifically, I will look at how Snapchat effects on users’ relationships and the impact of how users interact with one another.

As a social networking app, Snapchat is mainly about communication between people. Snapchat has impacted the culture of how people act in a variety of ways. The app has made the simple idea of taking pictures and videos and sharing accepted in society. People are being judged less when it comes to Snapchat when users are “snap chatting”, it is a simple justification for why someone would be taking a photo or video on themselves in public around tons of people. Translating that it is more accepted and easier for people to interact with one another in public or private.

Snapchat does not only have an impact on how users interact with one another it also as an impact on users’ relationships. Although Snapchat is still fairly new, there are studies on the app’s effects focusing on users and also effects on relationships. Sonja Utz, Nicole Muscanel, & Cameran Khalid, the study focuses on the impact of interpersonal relationships when dealing with Snapchat. Snapchat Elicits More Jealousy than Facebook: A comparison of Snapchat and Facebook Use. Utz, Muscanel & Khalid, wanted to provide insight into the motivations for using and actual use of Snapchat but also demonstrating Snapchat’s potential interpersonal impacts by directly comparing it with Facebook (Source). The reasoning for choosing jealously because many studies have shown that social networks can trigger jealousy. Furthermore, by looking at these two particular networks would most likely lead to different interpersonal effects, like jealousy. Being the case, because of the public nature of Facebook, having much more information about a partner is available, and it is also socially acceptable to monitor a partner. As oppose to Snapchat, the information is only visible to a small number of people and only last for a few seconds (Source).Within their study they took an affordance approach was taken to derive hypotheses on how these differences in persistence and visibility might influence jealously (Source).

Within their experiment, they came up with three research questions and hypotheses. The research questions state: What type of pictures do people send on Snapchat? What are the motives for using Snapchat? Are these motives different from motives for using Facebook (Source) ? Utz, Muscanel & Khalid, explain how in the past research has shown that some motives for using social networks are staying in touch with friends and acquaintances, keeping up with pop culture and news , and staying in the loop.(Source). They wanted to understand why people chose to use this particular app, and they found in a recent report showing that reason, why Snapchat was popular among college students in the Untied States, was due to the privacy aspect of the app. Plus, Snapchat’s reputation for sexting. One can assume that Snapchat is more often used for flirting than Facebook. The other two research questions focus on emotions of the users and the emotion in question for this study is jealous. Jealousy is an emotion that occurs when there is a perceived threat to a relationship. In 2009, Muise et al. developed a Facebook jealousy scale consisting of 27 items, how the participant would react to a specific scenario (Source). Muise et al. study showed that frequent Facebook use did increase jealously. Several studies since have shown that Facebook and the negative impacts it has on a relationship due to the public aspect of Facebook. Since Snapchat has a reputation for being a communication channel as well, it allows one to send intimate communication more “safely” and your partner learning about the communication with unknown others on Snapchat can cause jealousy.

The hypotheses of the study state: Snapchat jealously is higher than Facebook jealousy. Individuals with a higher need for popularity experience higher levels of Facebook jealousy. Individuals with a higher need for popularity experience higher levels of Snapchat jealously (Source). Hypothesis one will focus on personality differences and try to help explain jealously on social networking sites such as Facebook and Snapchat. Hypothesis two is less clear how the need for popularity is related to Snapchat jealously. The methods used for the study consisted of an online survey among users of both Snapchat and Facebook and a total of 77 participants. Participants had to indicate how often they logged into Facebook and Snapchat on a scale of one to six. One being “several times a day” and six being “less often”(Source). Participants also had to indicate how many friends they had on either Snapchat or Facebook, and their motivation for using the app was measured on a five-point scale (e.g., “I mainly use Facebook/Snapchat to keep in touch with friends and family”) (Source).

The results showed that the participants logged into Snapchat less frequently, but indicated that most participants felt more jealous when their partner added or messaged a previous partner or an unknown person of the opposite sex (Source). Only when-when the participant’s partner received a snap or wall post from an unknown member of the opposite sex was jealously higher on Facebook (Source).

Overall, this was the first study to compare directly Snapchat and Facebook—two social media that differ in their general affordances and their potential interpersonal impacts (Source). Also demonstrating how affordances of social media may lead to different psychological consequences.

Another study conducted by Justin Velten& Rauf Arif titled: The Influence of Snapchat on Interpersonal Relationship Development and Human Communication focuses on how the app influences on interpersonal relational development and the current understanding of communication process (Source). Seventy-five people were interviewed using the qualitative interviewing technique. The interview responses led to a discussion of multiple themes in interpersonal relationships and human communication. The themes ranging from moving a relationship from the experimenting to intensifying stage, reinitiating family relationships, relationship maintenance, and avoid partners (Source). Velten& Arif explains how Snapchat came at a time came at a time when people worldwide were experiencing high levels of anxiety regarding their online data (Source).The results from their study identified a paradigm shift in existing communication models by highlighting the important aspect for non-communication (Source). Also, that Snapchat is used as a tool to build and maintain interpersonal relationships (Source).

Snapchat being still fairly new there still research being done, and still finding the way to how it may be sometimes able to affect their users. But from recent studies, we can understand the motivate of emotions and interaction with one another.


Ultz, S., Muscanell, N., Khalid, C. (2015). Snapchat Elicits More Jealousy than Facebook: A Comparison of Snapchat and Facebook Use.  Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social NetworkingRetrieved November 3, 2015,http://www.cs.vu.nl/~eliens/sg/local/cyber/behavior-chat.pdf.

Velten, J., Arif, R. (2015). The Influence of Snapchat on Interpersonal Realtionship Development and Human Communication.  Retrieved 2016,http://thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/152



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