The Relationship between Social Media Networking Use and Marital Well-Being among Couples in Nakuru County, Kenya
Wathigo, Sophie Wairimu
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This study examined the relationship between the level of social media networking use and well-being of marital relationships, the relationship between stress and anxiety associated with social media networking use and well-being of marital relationship, and the role of psychotherapy, sociability and social skill development in promoting responsible social media use among couples. The study was grounded on Family Systems Theory and Rational Choice Theory. The study utilized Correlational Research design, with 220 respondents selected through Purposive, Convenience and Snowball Sampling Method from a target population of 7,694 married people. This study conducted a pilot study in Kericho County, which involved 22 respondents. The results of pilot study were subjected to reliability test, yielding reliability co-efficient of 0.942. Data was collected by use of questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using frequencies and percentages and Pearson Correlation, while qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Data analysis was aided by the use of statistical package for social sciences (Version 24). The wellbeing of marriages was enhanced by moderate use of social media, appropriate motive of social media use and use of social media in dispute resolution. The well-being of marriages was undermined by use of social media late in the night and use of social media in the presence of partner. Stress and anxiety that adversely affected the well-being of marriages were fear of exposure of social media conversations, feelings of under achievement and overreliance on social media friends in marital decisions. The findings of this study are important to married people, marriage counselors and scholars. This study recommends that the government should establish tough regulations on social media use especially punishment of individuals who use private social media conversations to malign and demean marital relationships. This study also recommends that future research should endeavor to examine the psychosocial coping mechanisms for marital partners whose private social media engagements are made public for ulterior motive by social media users.