A new study says that we’re risking psychological damage if we Facebook stalk our exes. I admit; I’m a former Facebook stalker. After several bad breakups, I’ve learned to hit the ‘unfriend’ button immediately and get over things the far more emotionally healthy way: By pretending that my ex is dead for a minimum of six months. When I’ve broken this rule in the past, the results have never been good. Many of my friends have the same issue: We KNOW logically that we should cut off all contact, so why is the urge to stalk so strong?
1) We want to compare ourselves to our replacement. Looking at our ex’s Friend List makes may us feel like being waterboarded after a McDonald’s supersize meal. Who is ‘Brandi’ and what does she mean she’s ‘up for fun’? Hours are wasted as we obsess over his fictional orgy with every single female acquaintance in his timeline. Meanwhile, while we are comparing lives we forget that Facebook updates are total BS. How do we know this? Because we’re creating our own propaganda…
2) We become obsessed with showing them what they are missing. Hours are lost primping for that perfect ‘casual’ shot out with our girlfriends at a fabulous location. We become so busy crafting the perfect fake life that we can forget to live a real one. Eating Ben and Jerry’s while posting status updates about marathon training won’t make you feel good in the long run.
3) If you stop obsessing, you are admitting that it’s over for good. There is a great scene in Swingers where Jon Favreau finally stops pining for the girlfriend who left him and says “It’s kinda weird, but it’s like you almost miss the pain.” We’ll take the daily emotional sucker punch over the emptiness that follows. But the sooner we let go, the sooner we can move on.