According to the Daily Mail:
But Facebook has disrupted the process, a new study claims, with newly-singles who stay friends with their exes on the social networking site struggling to recover emotionally when a relationship ends.
Researcher Tara Marshall, from Brunel University in London, suggests there is a lot of additional heartbreak in store for the third of us who keep an eye on the ex – or 'Facebook-stalking', as some may call it.
Marshall asked 464 participants to evaluate their Facebook usage, and estimated up to a third use Facebook to check on the activities of former romantic partners.
The study, entitled 'Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth', 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.
While Marshall's study suggests a third of people 'stalk' their exes, a study earlier this year by Veronika Lukacs at the University of Western Ontorio suggested up to 90 per cent of new singles would follow their ex on Facebook.
Here's how I would have done this: End of first quarter (not half-time, too many beer runs), sold-out college football game, I stand on the 50-yard line and say the following, “Raise one hand if you use Facebook. Now raise both hands if you've ever stalked an ex on Facebook. Good, good, now raise both feet if you went on their page hoping to see their life in total disarray when you got there. Sweet, now put your feet down, that one was just for my enjoyment. Next, put both hands down unless you've stalked their profile more than ten times. Be honest.” Boom. I just shattered this idiot's 464 person sample size, while setting some kind of world record for most limbs raised at once. A series of precise photos taken at key moments and my lackey assistants will be used to calculate all the data. When we get back to the office, my Nobel Prize will be waiting on my desk. Don't you dare tell me I'm not qualified to do useless research.