We’re all guilty of checking in on our exes on social media, especially right after a breakup. Even if we’re not interested in seeing that person anymore, curiosity gets the best of us and we can’t help to check in from time to time.
Where are they now? Are they dating anyone? Do they seem better off since you broke up?
Why do we need to know these things? Science finally has answers.
A study from The University of Western Ontario found that 88 percent of people on Facebook tend to check in on their exes.
We might feel weird for doing it, but it’s actually a very natural thing to do.
“We’re hardwired to pay attention to other people,” media psychologist Pamela Rutledge, who studies the impact of media and technology on our lives, tells Mental Floss.
“Even if we broke something off, we want to fundamentally believe that no one can replace us. We want affirmation that we’re valued or a good person, so we’re hoping that without us they’re going to be a little bit sad or suffer a little bit.”
She also says you can stop feeling guilty about looking at your ex’s page: “You’re not endangering someone, you’re just being really curious. Obviously, there’s a fine line. If you are investing a lot of time following someone, then you probably ought to evaluate how you’re spending your time. At that point, it’s become totally about you. It isn’t about the other person at all.”
The study did find that there is a tie between jealousy and time spent on Facebook. The more information people find, the more they will want. Women are also more likely to be jealous than men.
So don’t worry, it’s human nature … unless you’re stalking a lot.