The study, conducted by University of Missouri doctoral candidate Russell Clayton, was intended as a follow-up to an investigation last year on the effects of Facebook on romantic relationships. Some 514 participants aged 18 to 67 (of whom 63 percent were male and 62 percent were Caucasian) were asked questions about how often they log into Twitter and how often they tweet, @reply, DM followers, and scroll through their newsfeeds. The average amount of time participants spent on Twitter was relatively normal: 52 minutes per day, five days per week.
Then, to measure Twitter’s homewrecking effect, participants were asked how often they had arguments with significant others as a result of excessive Twitter use, or as a result of viewing friends’ Twitter profiles, among other questions. Unsurprisingly, the results showed that tweeting and infidelity or breakups were positively correlated—though both Clayton and the journal’s editor in chief say you shouldn’t throw your phone and computer out the window just yet.