A new European study has found that people become more jealous when their partners communicate with third parties on Snapchat than when they engage in the same behaviour on Facebook. And it would all seem to come down to the sneakiness of the medium.
“People seem to be more distrustful if the partner chooses a more private channel for communicating with a potential rival,” the study concluded. Which is pretty obvious when you think about it. It’s one thing to watch your partner mildly flirt with someone while you are both in the same room; it’s quite another to discover that he or she has been flirting with somebody when you weren’t there or, worse, that they’ve been doing it secretly online. Add to that the fact that Snapchat pictures and messages dissolve almost immediately, and you’ve got a lot of potential for paranoia.
The study, published in Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, found that, “Differences between Facebook and Snapchat jealousy were especially strong for items involving a former romantic partner or an unknown potential rival, indicating that uncertainty plays a role.”
Researchers found that Snapchat was used marginally more often for flirting and finding new love interests than Facebook. The top three motives – “procrastination”, “keeping in touch with family and friends”, and “seeing what people are up to” – for using both Facebook and Snapchat were non-sex-related however.
Snapchat is now the third most popular app after Facebook and Instagram among 18-34 year olds, but it continues to be used most by those under 25, with only 19 per cent of Snapchat users aged 25 and over.