Shun ‘Facebook stalking’ after romantic break-up

Shun 'Facebook stalking' after romantic break-up

If you have gone through a romantic break-up recently, avoid stalking your ex on Facebook as it may make emotional recovery more difficult than ever.

According to researchers, individuals who were most distressed by a break-up were most likely to monitor their ex-partners online which could make it more difficult for them to recover.

Social networking makes it easy to monitor the status and activities of a former romantic partner, an often unhealthy use of social media known as interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) or, more commonly, “Facebook stalking”.

“Psychological and relationship factors and how individuals cope with the termination of a romantic relationship can help predict their use of online surveillance,” said Jesse Fox from the Ohio State University-Columbus and Robert S. Tokunaga from University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu.

In the study, the authors evaluated associations between factors such as attachment, investment in the relationship, level of commitment, responsibility for termination of the relationship, emotional distress after the break-up and seeking relationship alternatives.

“Since stress may trigger problematic internet use, psychologists may wish to assess for increased usage by their patients during periods of stress, such as a relationship’s dissolution,” explained Brenda K. Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, California.