When I was 18 I broke up with this angry Italian girl.
Within 2 months her MSN Space was full of “kill Michael” drawings.
e.g., stabbing me to death with a toaster
Within 16 months I saw her in an ad for some porn site.
Now she has a website about cats.
Why did this happen?
Because in 2003 there was no Facebook stalking — we had to find our own outlets.
Today’s post covers:
- why your ex’s boring life is the key to your happiness
- how to use Pavlok to stop obsessing over the past
- and the burning question: is Facebook stalking more fun than sex?
Here’s the article:
According to a 2012 study at the University of Western Ontario, almost 90% of people admit to periodically Facebook stalking their exes, regardless of how the relationship ended. 100% of them described Facebook as being the most distressing factor in their attempt to get over the relationship.
The study says that ‘Facebook surveillance’ limits your own self-growth. By continuing to check up on your ex, you simultaneously consider that they’re checking up on you, too — this makes you self-conscious about how they would perceive you.
So, after scrolling through the latest status updates, you might put extra effort into your own appearance to make yourself feel better … but you do that by wearing the sweater they always liked. This reinforces your pattern of thinking in the frame of the old relationship, and by staying in this cycle, you’re preventing yourself from moving on.
Those who kept tabs on an ex were more likely to want to return to the relationship, and had higher ratings of ‘heartache’ post-break up.
It only makes moving on harder, but we keep doing it. How can we resist?
Some people respond to break-ups by immediately unfriending their ex. While you can’t stalk them anymore (or at least, not as thoroughly), the study found that this can prolong the heartache. Unfortunately, by entirely separating yourself from the profile, you raise the level of ‘mystery’ concerning your ex’s current life, which can make them seem more attractive.
Your Ex’s Boring Life = Key To Moving On
Basically, if you have all-access to your ex’s day-to-day life, you’re not letting yourself get on with your own life. And by totally cutting yourself off, you’ll spend so much time wondering about your ex’s life that you won’t be able to focus on anything else anyway.
So, the best solution is to maintain the Facebook friendship. While you might be tempted to hit the ‘unfriend’ button in an effort to quickly forget the relationship ever happened, you’re only delaying your own recovery, and you might end up regretting the ‘unfriend’ when you’re no longer in heartache mode.
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with reading a status update from your ex if it comes up on your newsfeed — the study says routine exposure to mundane posts like, ‘going bowling!’ or ‘just ate a burrito!’ can help you lose interest in your ex even faster.
The issue is while that small-exposure works in theory, it’s hard to do. Something as simple as a status update can launch you into a stalking binge.
What if you could make it easier? Imagine being in total control, and being able to move on with your life faster!
You Can Make the Pain Work in Your Favor!
Clicking through your ex’s pictures with their new honey really hurts. Even after you finish the album (… for the third time), the pain doesn’t end when you close your laptop — you can go about your day, but you can’t get the images out of your head.
What if you could replace that emotional trauma with less than a second of pain, a safe and simple pinch, guaranteed to help you stop the stalking once and for all? Your way to getting over your ex can be found with classical conditioning.
If you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs, you already have a sense of how it works. Man takes out food, dog likes food — dog comes running. Man rings bell, dog doesn’t know what that means. But if man rings the bell, and then takes out the food, the dog knows that a bell ringing means food. So man rings bell — dog comes running.
This is classical conditioning. You can associate two factors (in this case, bell and food) to change behavior. Unfortunately, it works even if the factors are bad for you, like the association between nicotine and smoking in cigarette addiction.
But there’s good news: classical conditioning works in reverse! It’s called aversion therapy, and using a stimulus like mild electric shock helps the majority of smokers quit.
Is Facebook Stalking More Fun Than Sex?
Every time you type your ex’s name into the Facebook search bar, you’re satisfying your curiosity craving. Even if you feel worse afterward, the impulsive part of you is rewarded, and your brain increases its association between Facebook stalking and reward.
Electric shock can break this connection, and it does — for most smokers, gamblers, overeaters, and more. No matter how much you doubt your ability to stop, you can’t beat the way your brain is designed to function.
If you’re entertaining the idea of using electric shock, you’re probably wondering how you’d go about it. That’s where Pavlok comes in to help you out.
Pavlok brings the efficacy of aversion therapy into your home, and everywhere else you go — it’s a light wristband with a button to give yourself a quick and safe shock. You can control the intensity with an app on your phone. And it can help you break your bad habit in days, no unfriending required.
Using Pavlok to Stop the ‘Facebook Surveillance’
You can conduct an aversion session once a day for 4 days — it only takes a few minutes.
Just put on your Pavlok and sit down at your computer. Open up Facebook, and as soon as you start typing your ex’s name in, shock yourself. Go to their page, find an interesting clump of posts, and creep to your heart’s content. But while you’re free to indulge, shock yourself around once every 15 seconds (4 times a minute) for as long as you continue.
When your curiosity has been extinguished, the session’s over, and you’ve started to step out of the cycle!
You can satisfy your desires to stalk in these four aversion sessions, but resist any temptations to check on their profile otherwise. Before you give in to any of the cravings, try shocking yourself!
After the sessions are over, use Pavlok to maintain your progress. If Facebook shoves your ex’s ‘spring break in aruba!!’ photo album in your newsfeed, and you really want to click, it’s completely natural.
But you can give yourself a shock, and remind yourself that following that link will not help you move on with your life. Don’t let your ex live rent-free in your head!
Aversion sessions help most people with their bad habits, no matter how ingrained they might be. One day, you’ll be able to look back on your relationship with more perspective — you’ll have full access to your ex’s profile without feeling the need to keep up with every single update.
Personal growth will get you that perspective, and Pavlok can give you the control and the room you need to grow!