'Preoccupied,' 'Fearful' People Cyber-Stalk Their Partners, Study Says


“Experts” say “it is increasingly common for people to use the interpersonal electronic surveillance of … social networks to monitor the activities of current and former romantic partners.” I say “obviously.” If you don’t check up on the meaningful people in your life from time to time, you’re abnormal — or, alternatively, you’re refreshingly grounded and content. Either way, Socrates and I can’t relate (the unexamined life is not worth living, amirite?).

So look: it’s fine to surreptitiously scroll through Twitter/Instagram/whatever feeds and pray you don’t accidentally click “Like” from time to time. I’ve done it. NSA officers do it (often enough that the NSA has its own spycraft label: LOVEINT). Now, a new study, found in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, claims “preoccupied” and “fearful” types are more likely to spy on their partners. Well, thanks.

Only 328 university students (145 male and 183 female Facebook users, 18-48, predominately caucasian) were surveyed, so take these results with a (veeery white) grain of salt.

[The survey] examined two potential explanatory variables for interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) of romantic partners: attachment style and relational uncertainty. Attachment style predicted both uncertainty and IES, with preoccupieds and fearfuls reporting the highest levels. Uncertainty did not predict IES, however. Future directions for research on romantic relationships and online surveillance are explored.


Image via Creativa/Shutterstock.

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