19 Jul 2012
Almost 90 per cent of people “creep” on their former lovers’ Facebook page, according to a study by Western University master researcher Veronika Lukacs.
The study, "It’s Complicated: Romantic breakups and their aftermath on Facebook," also shows 74 per cent of users creep on their ex’s new partner - or suspected new partner. The research also suggested that users change Facebook passwords after a break-up, and some hack into their exes' profiles.
After a break-up, 64 per cent of users are also likely to re-read and analyze their previous Facebook messages or wall posts, while half delete pictures showing them together with their ex in happier times. Moreover, 70 per cent use a mutual friend’s profile or even log in as a mutual friend to stalk their ex.
Overall, the paper suggested the social network increased post-breakup distress. “What I found was that whether you were on Facebook all the time or not, your distress level changed based on how much surveillance you were doing (post break-up),” Lukacs said, as quoted by Niagara Advance.
“The more surveillance there was, the more distress there was, but it’s difficult to say why. Does surveillance make you more distressed, or are you distressed so you do more surveillance? My hunch is that it’s a bit of both.”
The survey also found 48 per cent of people remained friends with their ex on the social network, 31 per cent posted pictures to make him or her jealous, and 33 per cent nostalgically updated their status with a song lyric or quote about their ex.
The study took into consideration only the people who had broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12 months, and was conducted to see how breakup distress is related to Facebook use.