New York: 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.
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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".
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"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.
The study was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.