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The Science Behind Facebook Stalking Your Ex

By Lauren Ford
Posted On Jun 16, 2016
The Science Behind Facebook Stalking Your Ex

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all Facebook stalked an ex. You see their name tagged in a post on your timeline and the next thing you know you are 12 weeks deep in selfies, comments, and videos. You might even take it a step further and stalk their current gf/bf’s timeline. Or even worse, stalking their family members to see if their new mate has met the family yet.

In the world that we live in, social media stalking is hard to avoid. At the click of a button all the questions you had in your head can be answered. How are they doing without me? Do they have someone new? Are they better looking than me?

Well, Psychologist Tara Marshall did a study measuring the mental health effects of Facebook stalking an ex. The study was published in the journal Cyber Psychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, where she found that, “exposure to an ex-partner through Facebook may obstruct the process of healing and moving on from a past relationship.”

She also found that staying Facebook friends with an ex and monitoring their profile may increase feelings of distress, sexual longing, and regret about the breakup. Yikes!

This may not be the case in your particular situation. Say, you (think) are over your ex, but still find yourself checking up on his social profiles every once in a while. You need to answer this question… why do you want to stay friends with your ex on Facebook/ Why do you keep checking up on your ex? Marshall says that the answer is one of two reasons, “they either can’t let go or they don’t care at all and haven’t bothered to unfriend them.”

Alternate research suggests that Facebook stalking an ex increases feelings of anxiety and jealously. So why add that extra negativity to your life when you don’t have to. Marshall also said that, “the more you can minimize exposure the more space you have to move on.”

And move on we shall.