4

Remaining Facebook Friends With Your Ex Makes Your Breakup Harder, According to UM Research

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

File this under things we all sort of knew but now have academic research to back it up.

A recently published study by a researcher at the University of Miami has confirmed that staying friends with your ex-partner on Facebook can make a breakup that much harder, especially for those who are prone to rumination. 

Published last month in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, PhD student Tanya Tran recruited 37 undergrad students who had recently ended a relationship but hadn't ended their Facebook friendship with that ex. According to the Washington Post, she then asked those students about their Facebook usage, breakup recover time, and general personality. 

Tran, now a clinical psychologist at Brown, found that people who had a disposition toward rumination — to focus a lot of attention on their distresses — were particularly prone to using Facebook to increase their despair. Viewing their ex's Facebook page or seeing their updates in their newsfeed led to thoughts of what the ex's lives were like without them and lead to harder post-breakup recovery time. 

So if you're prone to feeling sorry for yourself, it's best to unfriend that ex on Facebook, and, though this research doesn't specifically mention it, probably Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, and whatever it is that the kids are using today as well. 

Have you seen a recently single person on social media? They're pretty much horrible for anyone to follow, let alone their ex. "Out with my girls #LivingMyBestLife." "So glad I have time again to take the gym seriously #GettingSwoll." "With nothing holding me back, the world is mine #Inspiration." Those people are temporarily insufferable. 

Naturally, Tran's research isn't the first into the general topic. 

Last year research out of the at University of Western Ontario in Canada found that the person who initiates the breakup is less likely to be troubled by their ex's social media activity than the person who was dumped. Sixty-two percent of dumpees said they spent a lot of time thinking about and reanalyzing wall posts and messages from their exes. They also said that posting about the breakup brought in messages from friends and families that tended to reopen wounds. 

Most said they didn't want to view their ex's profile, but just couldn't ward off the temptation and ended up feeling that the ex-partner was trying to flaunt their newly unattached status.

So just hit that unfriend button.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.