Twitter makes our relationships shorter

Pin it


You've heard it before: the modern world is criminally reducing our attention spans. Gchat replaced email, texting replaced calling, and thousands of young folk can only write in abbrev. And, yet, I may or may not have just paused to send a quick email after writing that sentence — which is to say, there's truth in cliche. 

An OKCupid study of almost a million of their members has found that frequent Twitter users have shorter relationships than those who don't microblog — around five to ten percent shorter. It'd be a conflation of correlation and causality to assume that Twitter actually shortens people's attention spans (a conflation I admittedly made in that headline — though to be fair, "Twitter usage correlates positively with relationship brevity" didn't really pop!). 

It is, nonetheless, interesting. Are people who Tweet all the time too narcissistic to commit to another person? Are they Tweeting twenty-five times a day for work, and just really busy? Or perhaps the most convincing (and least satisfying) of all — are they just younger? I'm sure that more twenty-year olds than forty-year olds tweet daily, and I'm sure they have shorter relationships too.

Whatever the cause, though, the fact remains that we have shorter attention spans and shorter relationships than we've ever had before. A fact you should ponder, if you managed to make it all the way to the end of this post.   

Twitter Chart