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Study: 88 percent have “creeped” an ex’s Facebook page after a breakup

Most of the people surveyed used Facebook to do "surveillance" on their former partners, but many said "Facebook creeping" didn't help them get over a breakup.


Jordan Valinsky


Posted on Jul 19, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 2:14 pm CDT

Good news people with broken hearts: stalking your ex on Facebook is totally normal.

A new study revealed that 88 percent of spurned lovers track their exes on Facebook, and 31 percent of respondents have changed their profile picture in an attempt to make their exes jealous. The revelations are from a new study conducted by Veronika Lukacs for her master’s thesis, released Wednesday.

Lukacs, a Media Studies student at University of Western Ontario, told the Niagara Advance that the point of the study was to see how breakup distress is related the use of Facebook. She appropriately called her thesis “It’s Complicated: breakups and their aftermath on Facebook.”

“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),” she said to the newspaper.

She surveyed 107 people between the ages of 18 to 35 years old who experience breakups in the past 12 months, since after all the first cut is the deepest. Lukacs also told the Daily Dot she interviewed 10 people ranging from 19 to 39 years old.

Lukacs found that the “creeping” of your ex’s Facebook page doesn’t help you heal, but causes more distress. And the more you look at the page, the more you hurt, although she said she couldn’t find out exactly 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,” she told the newspaper.

The Daily Dot obtained the survey and found that that 74 percent of respondents said they had looked up an ex’s new partner, 70 percent said they used their friends’ Facebook accounts to lookup their exes, and 46 percent said they think their ex also looks up their Facebook page. Also, 52 percent of people unfriended their exes following the break-up.

The study also asked people if they analyzed previous interactions with their partner, and 64 percent said they looked at old messages and wall posts. 62 percent of people were asked about the breakup following the change in relationship status and 50 percent of respondents deleted pictures of their ex.

And if you’re one of those people who always has a song to relate to a situation, you’re not alone: 34 percent of respondents changed their status to song lyric or a quote. Keep calm, carry on, and think of something original.

Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 19, 2012, 12:52 pm CDT