Breakups & Facebook

It’s estimated that as many as one-third of Facebook users log onto the social networking portal to check on the relationship status of former romantic partners. And that habit can prolong the emotional agony of a breakup, a new study concludes.

Researchers in England affiliated with Brunel University’s School of Social Sciences found that when someone tracked the status of an ex-partner on Facebook they found it more difficult to cope with the sorrow and loss of the breakup and therefore struggled to move on. This was true, researchers found, even when the ex had been “unfriended” and was tracking a former partner’s life through the postings of mutual friends.

“This study again sees virtual life mirroring real life,” says Brenda K. Weiderhold, editor-in-chief of the journal Cyberpyschology, Behavior and Social Networking, which reported the findings in September.

The take away: It may help your broken heart mend if you tune out of social media after changing your status back to single.