You should trust your friends when they advise you to cut off all contact with your ex, especially regarding social media and, yes, including Facebook. But just in case you need an extra push, here comes science: New study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking suggests that ‘exposure to an ex-partner through Facebook may obstruct the process of healing and moving on from a past relationship.’ Just like contact in real life.
Researchers took a sample of 464 people who had recently broken up with their partners and monitored their behavior on Facebook and offline. They measured a series of feelings such as negative feelings towards the ex-partner, sexual desire, emotional longing and personal growth, and linked them to their social activity, mainly if they kept Facebook contact with their ex-lover or even just Facebook surveillance.
The conclusions? Here is what they write: ‘In spite of the need for further research, the take-home message from the present study is that keeping tabs on an ex-partner through Facebook is associated with poorer emotional recovery and personal growth following a breakup. Therefore, avoiding exposure to an ex-partner, both offline and online, may be the best remedy for healing a broken heart.’
If you want to know more about the study, I recommend you to actually check the paper, which is published online and is really worth reading. You’ll find the link at the end of this article.
Tara C. Marshall (2012). Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0125