This Valentine’s Day weekend Twitter users around the world will brace themselves for #engaged tweets to flood their newsfeed. Interestingly, a recent study kept track of what happened after the “big announcement” for couples in 2011, and it confirmed what singletons have suspected all along: People really do change after getting engaged.

For a nine-month period, Georgia Institute of Technology kept records on the tweets of 923 individuals who used #engaged. They then compared these against random tweets from the same nine-month period. According to the press release, a total of 12 million tweets were reviewed for the study.

Results showed that people began to change their tweeting pattern pretty much immediately after getting engaged. Tweets involving the words “I” or “me” dropped by 69 percent in recently engaged tweeters, and tweets with the words “we” or “us” increased. The random sample group had no significant difference in their use of pronouns over the course of the study.

"People began to paint themselves as a couple, rather than as individuals," explained lead researcher Munmun de Choudhury in the press release. "They're going through a major change in life, and it shows on social media as they adapt to society's expectations of their marital identity."

It wasn’t just pronoun use that changed. It was observed that upon becoming engaged tweets contained more references to family-related words such as “future-in-laws” and “children,” It was noted, however, that this trend of family-based tweeting was seen significantly more in women than in men.

An interesting tweeting change that occurred among recently engaged users was a 62 percent increase in tweets about future events. For example, this group was more likely to use tweets such as “going on a date night tonight,” while the control group tended to use more past-tense verbs in their tweets. Along with speaking more about the future, in general, the recently engaged were found to tweet more about activities they did with their fiancé, such as cooking and watching TV together, The New York Times reported.

This may have been a reflection of the excitement users felt. "They're looking forward to the future in their real lives and boasting about it on social media, too," de Choudhury said.

The study also investigated terms that tweeters used to describe their significant others following an engagement and found this differed greatly between the sexes. For example, the most popular words used by women to describe their partners were “wonderful” and “love,” signifying an emotional tie. Men, on the other hand, were more likely to make references to their partner’s physical appearance and use words such as “sexy,” “beautiful,” and “gorgeous” when tweeting about their other half.

The results from the study are interesting, but they also offer an important perspective of how our society uses Twitter as an emotional outlet.

"Twitter can be a powerful tool that can mirror our thoughts and how we're actually feeling,” de Choudhury said.

Source: De Choudhury M, Massimi M. “She said yes!” – Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter. iConference. 2015.