Researchers at the University of Colorado conducted a study to look at how breakups are in this digital age. The new study found that social media has made breakups so much tougher for even those who unfriend or block their exes.

The digital age has made it difficult to get people out of sight, out of mind. This has made moving on from exes much more challenging.

How social media has made breakups tougher

Scientists hired participants who had experienced unpleasant online encounters which involved their ex. All these participants had suffered a breakup in the past 18 months. These people were interviewed for an hour.

Interestingly, scientists noticed that even when participants had removed their exes from their online lives, they often had to see their reminders multiple times in a day. How does Facebook enable this?

By shoving memories of past years in a user’s face, by putting forward pictures of the ex in a mutual friend’s photos, by bringing forward their statuses when someone in the user’s list comments on them. It can be quite upsetting to have such reminders when you just want to regroup and refresh.

The Proceedings of the ACM journal published this research work.

What you can do about this

It is clear that simply unfriending or even blocking your ex may not help you. Sometimes people take all the measures to rid themselves of someone’s reminders online but keep running into them one way or another.

The best you can do for your hurt heart, to protect it, is to deactivate from Facebook for a while. A social media detox will also help your metal health in other ways as you no more will have to swallow the bitter pill of seeing other happy couples online which remind you of your past.

Once you are sure you have recovered, you can make your way back online.