Why Facebook Stalking Your Ex Can Emotionally Hurt You

New study says resist the urge to click. 

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

After a breakup, it’s natural to want to keep an eye on your ex. What does your ex look like? Do they miss you? Who is that new person they have their arm around?! Social media lurking is a good way to see what your ex is up to (and who they’ve moved on with) while maintaining a safe distance, but a new study says that the act of Facebook stalking is so unhealthy that it can hurt you in the long run.

The researcher behind the study, "Attachment styles as predictors of Facebook-related jealousy and surveillance in romantic relationships," says that a third of people questioned admit that they “very often” look at their ex-partner's Facebook at least once a week. Facebook surveillance may seem harmless—even normal—after a breakup, but the researcher says that stalking is “associated with greater distress over the breakup, protracted longing for an ex-partner, more negative feelings towards and sexual desire for the ex, and lower personal growth."

In other words, stalking an ex could be emotionally stopping you from moving on.

The researcher says that people with low self-esteem, a fear of rejection, and greater jealousy in relationships are more likely to Facebook stalk. Although lurking can’t be pinpointed as the cause of emotional problems yet, it's very linked to anxiety, depression and post-breakup stress.

Resist the urge to click.


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