Many of us use the term “Facebook stalking” harmlessly. We tell ourselves and each other that creeping around Facebook is just not really that weird anymore. After all, you can only while away so many hours on friends’ pages before inevitably landing on the profile of someone you’ve never met. And before too long, a shared interest, alma mater or friend triggers a sudden need to mine a stranger’s wall posts and photos. This is common. It’s become the very definition of “Facebooking.”
But, Facebook stalking can become a problem, however, when stalking is less casual. Serious cyberstalking is far more common than we think. A recent survey reveals that 88% of us regularly check our ex’s profiles and a full 70% of us spy from a mutual friend’s account. The study also reveals that those of us who stalk our exes and their new flames on Facebook spend more time drinking and less time dating than those who just hit “Remove Friend” after a break-up.
Even if you’re not causing anyone any harm, if cyberstalking disrupts your life in noticeable ways, you may have a problem. Social media addiction is linked not only to extending heartbreak, but contributing to long term depression and low self esteem issues. So, it may be time to step away from the computer.