Can post-breakup Facebook surveillance delay emotional recovery?

Sep 19, 2012
© Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers

More than 900 million people worldwide are active users of the social networking site Facebook, and it is estimated that as many as one-third report using Facebook to check on the activities of former romantic partners. The effects of remaining Facebook friends with an ex-lover or even just following their activities online can disrupt a person's ability to heal emotionally and move on with his or her life, according to an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

The study entitled "Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth" assessed the effects of continued Facebook contact with an ex-partner and of Facebook surveillance, in which there is no actual online contact, but one individual monitors the Facebook page and postings of another.

The study collected data from 464 participants to evaluate their Facebook usage and their emotional recovery and personal adjustment following the breakup of a . It evaluated parameters such as , sexual desire and emotional longing for the ex-partner, and feelings of reduced personal growth as measures of distress and the ability to move forward with their lives.

"This study sees again virtual life mirroring real life. Just as real life contact with ex-partners may inhibit growth, healing, and well-being, so may virtual contact," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

Explore further: Society bloomed with gentler personalities and more feminine faces

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Does Facebook usage contribute to jealousy in relationships?

Aug 06, 2009

The more time college students spend on Facebook, the more likely they are to feel jealous toward their romantic partners, leading to more time on Facebook searching for additional information that will further fuel their ...

Online dating scammers looking for money, not love

Mar 28, 2012

Online romance scams, a new form of cybercrime, is under-reported and increasing, and has victimized an estimated 230,000 people in England, costing them nearly $60 billion a year, according to an article ...

New study shows Facebook use elevates mood

Feb 07, 2012

People visit social networking sites such as Facebook for many reasons, including the positive emotional experience that people enjoy and want to repeat, according to an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, an ...

The joy is in the social hunt

Apr 23, 2010

The popularity of social networking websites has grown dramatically in recent years. One of the most popular sites, Facebook.com, now boasts more than 350 million users worldwide. With so many people interacting with each ...

Europe slams Facebook's privacy settings

May 13, 2010

Europe slammed as unacceptable the changes by social networking website Facebook to its privacy settings, that would allow the profiles of its users to be made available to third party websites.

Recommended for you

Soccer's key role in helping migrants to adjust

17 hours ago

New research from the University of Adelaide has for the first time detailed the important role the sport of soccer has played in helping migrants to adjust to their new lives in Australia.

Congressional rift over environment influences public

Jul 31, 2014

American citizens are increasingly divided over the issue of environmental protection and seem to be taking their cue primarily from Congress, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NOM
not rated yet Oct 03, 2012
A colleague of mine is recently seperated. She is currently stalking her ex in facebook and dating sites. I think it is doing her a lot of good seeing what a sad loser he is.