Dear Readers of ASH Multimedia,
When I strike a nerve with you, the reader, I like to follow up on various blog posts because well…good journalists are supposed to follow up on stuff.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog in which I implied that people who Facebook creep their exes is obsessive behaviour that is remnicsant to stalking. Apparently, you disagree. I received emails blasting me, claiming it is perfectly normal behaviour to check on an ex, ESPECIALLY if you’re dating someone else, because you want to know if they’ve moved on too and if you’re doing better than they are. I still disagree, but since so many of you have contacted me to tell me that I am way off base, I decided to look into this a little bit further.
One of my closest friends is a psychology major, so I asked her about this phenomenon and her initial assessment matched mine; stalker. But as we both did research on the subject, we questioned this, as if 90% of the population is doing it, does that mean social networking breeds psychos?
So…I asked my own personal counselor.
She provided some outlook as well. She pointed out that for most, Facebook is always uploaded onto their computer (mine is right now) and chances are, someone will see an old post, photo and wonder how their significant other is doing, hence the creeping. She said if you are “creeping” an ex more than once a month more than a month after a break up, then yes, you are still in love with your ex, but if not, you’re simply nostalgic. However, she mentioned if you are googling your ex’s blog, website, social networking, etc. more than a month after a breakup, then yes, you are still in love with your ex, especially if you are doing it more than once a month. She said that this behaviour is actively seeking out the former lover. It’s not a matter of clicking on a website that is already open. You are looking for them in a manner than can be almost obsessive in the hopes to find out what they are thinking. If you have done this, then you are failing in your quest to move on from your ex, as you are searching for clues that they still care. She asked me, imagine if you had claimed to have moved on and you’re still creeping your ex once a week or so? How would the new person feel? They would likely claim you are still in love with your former partner, which you most definitely are, as you are choosing to seek them out. There is no mutual friend to pop up like on Facebook, there is simply a need, a desire to know what this person is thinking and that need and desire does not come from the hope that they are “okay” or that you’ve fared better post-breakup. That is a desire to be near that person. She said if you are doing this, where you are actively searching, seeking out the person you claim to want nothing to do with, we are supposed to ask ourselves the following:
1. If I said I could live without this person, why am I looking for them?
2. If I feel no obligation to this person, why do I care if they are happy?
3. Why do I feel this need to know how he/she is doing?
4. If I don’t miss them, why do I need to know what they are thinking?
5. If I don’t care about them, why do I want to know if they are talking about me, or why do I care if they are?
Chances are, you will answer all of these with “I don’t know” because truthfully, compuslive needs have no answer. But if you sit down and think hard enough, eventually this answer will come to you, which she claimed was “I need to know” which will evolve into “I need them”. Chances are, if you are engaged in this behaviour, you still want and need this person and you need to reconcile those feelings or reconcile with them before you leave new partners, new people in the wake of your destruction, as you drag them into the mess that you have made. You can’t date someone new if you are seeking out your ex on a regular basis. It’s simply trying to avoid reality, replace the old with someone else in the hopes that the feelings of loss, regret and love go away. However, they won’t because your need to know what they are thinking is too powerful. Your need for them is stronger than your need to be away from them.
So, I would like to apologize to all of you for implying that Facebook creeping = stalking. I didn’t factor in the idea that we as a society spend so much time on Facebook that a random post from a mutual friend, et al would make us feel nostalgic, etc. You are not stalkers…well, not REAL stalkers anyway. I still may not understand why you do it, but I can no longer claim you’re a whack-a-doo (well, not for this anyway, I’m sure I could find something else hahaha).