Spying. Stalking. Snooping. And losing your mind when you find out your ex has moved on

We’ve done it. Seriously, we’ve all done it. We don’t even have to research official statistics to know that 98.9% of us have googled an ex or searched Facebook for a crush. There’s no harm in looking up the kid from 6th grade you once kissed during spin the bottle or trying to see if the bartender who complimented your boots is on Twitter. It’s human nature and it’s okay… until it’s not.

Online stalking is “not okay” territory. That’s when you become obsessed with following someone online to the point where it consumes you, hurts your wellbeing, or upsets others. Things really can easily get out of hand and go from harmless fun to the kind of crazy shit you only see on Gossip Girl, so check yourself. Often.

But we’re going to assume you’re not going that far. So here’s a tip for the more common, less alarming type of social snooping: Stop it.

How can we write something so simple, so “no duh”? Like we said: We’ve done it. In our experience it almost always leads to heartache or a skewed sense of what’s really going on. And it takes us away from focusing on our own life.

Alas, curiosity is a powerful thing. Most of us will still look up an ex or crush. (We know better and we’re still guilty of doing it.) If we’re all going to check out a certain someone’s pics, posts, and relationship status anyway, let’s at least agree to the following:

  • If you look someone up before a first date and find something you don’t like, keep the date anyway. In real life, people are much more multi-dimensional and wonderful than their Twitter feed or Facebook wall would have you believe. (Unless what you find is really, truly scary. That’s when canceling is smart.)
  • Don’t get caught, don’t post anything mean, don’t hack into anyone’s account, and don’t harass anyone. Cyberstalking/bullying is illegal.
  • If you’re spending too much time following someone, use an ex-blocker and limit your exposure to that person’s info.
  • Don’t freak out when you see an ex looking happy, hot, or in love. On the one hand, you don’t know the full story, so don’t think they are doing better than you. On the other hand, if they are doing well, reflect on your own life and do what you got to do to ensure you’re also happy, healthy, and open to love.

And we hope it never happens, but should someone ever stalk you to the point where you’re uncomfortable, remember there are resources that can help.

Do you check up on an ex? Got any advice for others who are obsessing over someone online? Tell us in the comments below.

Let’s have a healthy relationship on Facebook,

P.S. Want to know what guys really think about birth control? Bedsider asked them.

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