It is a truth universally acknowledged: a single person who has recently been broken up with will end up cyberstalking her ex. Look, everyone does it. And even though you suspect that it’s not exactly helping the healing process, it’s not like it’s doing any harm…right?
Well, according to a recent study, checking your ex’s Instagram every 30 minutes can actually delay post-breakup recovery. Whoops.
Researchers at Brunel University in London analyzed data provided by 464 participants to see how continuing online contact with an ex-partner by staying Facebook friends and or engaging in “surveillance” of the ex-partner’s Facebook page might affect post-breakup adjustment and growth. And what they found was pretty shocking.
The analysis “revealed that Facebook surveillance was associated with greater current distress over the breakup, more negative feelings, sexual desire, longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth.”
Translation? Facebook stalking your ex isn’t going to make you feel better—in fact, it will probably make the heartache worse. (But you kinda knew that already, right?) And even though the study only looked at this one particular social media platform, we assume that the results hold true for the ’Gram, too.
And just in case you needed another reason to log off and move on—just imagine if, God forbid, you accidentally like your ex’s old photo. (Here’s what to do if that happens.)
Moral of the story: Step away from the internet and into your new single life.