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Does Facebook Slow Recovery After Relationship Ends?

Does Facebook Slow  Recovery After Ending a Relationship?For many people, use of Facebook is intertwined with self-identify. A new study finds that maintaining a friendship, or following an ex-lover’s activity, may hinder a person’s ability to heal emotionally after a relationship breakup.

Facebook is an international phenomena with more that 900 million worldwide users. But sharing social connections may backfire when a relationship wound is fresh.

Researchers have discovered that the effects of 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 with his or her life.

Researchers assessed the effects of continued Facebook contact with an ex-partner and of Facebook surveillance. Facebook surveillance — or spying — is when there is no actual online contact, but one individual monitors the Facebook page and postings of another.

Investigators collected data from 464 participants to evaluate their Facebook usage and their emotional recovery and personal adjustment following the breakup of a romantic relationship.

Study authors evaluated issues 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.

Researchers came to the conclusion that Facebook attachment may result in detrimental outcomes similar to what an individual can experience when they maintain close real-life contact with ex-partners — a situation that often inhibits growth, healing, and well-being.

The study is found online in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Does Facebook Slow Recovery After Relationship Ends?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Does Facebook Slow Recovery After Relationship Ends?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.