London, Sep 20: Remaining Facebook friends with an ex-lover or even just following their activities online can disrupt a person's ability to heal emotionally and move on in life, a new study has claimed.
In the study, researcher Tara C Marshall of Brunel University in England asked 464 participants to evaluate their Facebook usage and emotional recovery following the breakup of a romantic relationship.
The study assessed the effects of continued Facebook contact with an ex-partner and of Facebook surveillance, in which there is no actual online contact, but one individual monitors the Facebook page and postings of another.
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.
The results indicated that those who followed their ex on Facebook frequently were likely to be hung up on the breakup, with negative feelings and emotional issues.
The study entitled "Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth" was published in Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.