Before the age of internet, a relationship ended with complete sundering of ties as both partners moved on. But Facebook with 900 million users is now playing spoilsport, making it much harder for broken hearts to heal post-split, as people try to connect with their exes on the social site, suggests a new study.
Tara Marshall, from Brunel University in London, suggests there is a lot of additional heartbreak in store for the third of us who keep an eye on the ex or 'Facebook-stalking' as some may call it.
Marshall asked 464 participants to evaluate their Facebook usage, and estimated up to a third use Facebook to check on the activities of former romantic partners, the Daily Mail reports.
The study asked about each user's emotional recovery and personal adjustment following the breakup of a romantic relationship.
It evaluated parameters such as negative feelings, 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.
Brenda Wiederhold, editor-in-chief of Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking at the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, said: "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."
While Marshall's study suggests a third of people 'stalk' their exes, a study earlier this year by Veronika Lukacs at the University of Western Ontario suggested up to 90 percent of new singles would follow their ex on Facebook.