Today's break ups are far from clean splits, according to new research from the British Psychological Society. On the contrary, online abuse has become an alarming trend among men and women who part ways.
UK researchers conducted a survey and interviewed 1,612 adults online. The team asked participants to talk about their break ups and their former partner's online behavior, such as threats, actions against himself/herself and others via private (one-on-one messages/phone calls) or public domains (social media).
About 526 respondents (33 percent) said they experienced a break up within the last five years. Of these individuals, 196 (37 percent) said they'd experienced at least one instance of digital/online abuse from their former partner, with an average of four abusive behaviours reported. On average, men and women confessed to experiencing four different types of digital abuse (more on these in a bit). And more than half (52 percent) said they found the experience highly or extremely distressing.
The digital age has presented an interesting, albeit problematic platform for us. Nothing is private. Personal information, messages, and pictures can be made public at the press of a button. Years ago, the rage, hurt, and upset of a breakup largely dissipated once the words were said and the couple parted ways because there weren't as many platforms available to keep tabs on or make contact with an ex. That's not to say some level of unwanted attention and actions didn't follow suit, but it wasn't as prevalent or easy to do so as it is today. Take a look at the most common experiences men and women reported on the following slides. Then, if consider doing the breakup workout rather than lashing out! And if you're the one do the breaking up, make sure to do it the right way.
Insults Are Shared for Everyone to See
Shots fired: 48 percent of people had their ex send directly to them or share, publically, an online message about them that was "extremely nasty." Now, even if you can handle an insult face-to-face or in the confines of a direct message, you definitely don't need/want that to be the headliner on other people's Facebook newsfeed.
It's Easy to Get In Touch With Your New Partner, Family, or Friends
Talk about a sure-fire way to scare off a new girlfriend: An unsettling 34 percent of people have had their ex contact their new partner online for the purpose of distressing them. Family and friends weren't excluded either.
The Internet Is Not a Lie Detector
Twenty-eight percent of participants had their ex threaten to post or send an online message about them that wasn't true.
Your Intimate Messages, Pictures Could Be Exposed
You don't want your dirty laundry aired. Yet 26 percent of people said they've had an ex threaten to share something they didn't want shared online.
Your Every Move Can Be Monitored
About 26 percent of people have had their ex use digital technology to track or stalk them. Another reason to change your passwords...