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Abstract

Emotional infidelity is a perennial concern and negatively affects marriages in many modern societies. The advent of social media networks has heightened the alarming rate of emotional infidelity across the globe. This study examines the influence of Facebook on emotional infidelity and self-disclosure among married women. The study uses the media dependency theory, which stipulates that social media platforms, such as Facebook, serve as a potent channel for self-disclosure and emotional infidelity among individuals. The survey method was adopted in the study and a questionnaire used as an instrument to collect data. Two null hypotheses were tested with Pearson product moment correlation and Somers’ D directional measure to determine the relationship between variables. This study found that almost 60% of respondents had witnessed situations where individuals are separated, break-up or divorced due to emotional infidelity on Facebook. In addition, more than 30% of respondents indicated that they had experienced emotional infidelity in previous relationships. This study concludes that married people should use Facebook to strengthen communication with their partners, which will invariably destroy emotional distance in their marriages.

Note on the Author

Okorie Nelson, Post-doctoral fellow with North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa and Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.

Abiodun Salawu, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa.

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