Employees are using company time and technology to check up on their ex-partners via social media, a survey has revealed.
In a survey of 3,000 people, an overwhelming majority (95%) of them said they had looked up their ex-partners on social media whilst at work. These social media snoopers were using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn on company time in order to check up on how their exes are doing – despite being in a new relationship.
The survey, conducted by employment law and health & safety consultancy Protecting.co.uk, involved interviews with 3,000 people from cities around the UK, including Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds and London, and who had been in a relationship in the past 12 months.
Participants were asked if they had ever used a social media site to check up on an ex whilst they were supposed to be working, and – if so – how much time they spent scrolling through social media instead of working.
The shocking results showed that, despite the fact that most people have access to a smartphone or computer of their own, a huge number were using company technology to look at their ex-partners.
The reason behind the social media detective work seemed to vary, from those longing for a second chance to some exes just being ‘curious’.
All participants of the survey are now in new relationships, but this didn’t appear to deter them when it came to keeping tabs on a past partner.
Barney, 37, from London, said: “I’m not even bothered about her as I met someone else on Tinder, but I do like to look for some reason.”
Some of the people surveyed were taking a trip down memory lane (from their desk) for nostalgic reasons, like Zoe, 44, from Leeds, who said: “I cheated on my ex and then regretted it”.
Others, with seemingly less fond memories of their previous relationships, seemed to be hoping karma had caught up with their exes.
While a majority admitted to checking up on an old partner, some were a little more abashed about the behaviour than others – although, surprisingly, not due to the risk of disciplinary action at work.
Willow, 23, from Bristol, revealed: “I once clicked ‘Like’ on a photo by mistake… that was embarrassing!”
Leeds was home to the biggest snoopers, with 97% of those surveyed admitting to tracking former partners on social media.
Bristol had the lowest percentage, at a still-staggering 91% – and the average amount of time spent looking up their exes a month varied too.
The worst offender reported 4 hours a month spent scrolling through feeds for a glimpse into their ex’s life – with the average being about 1.5 hours a month. Women were much more likely to check up on an ex’s new life, with 98% of women surveyed admitting they frequently checked up on an ex.
Chris Hall, Head of Employment Law at Protecting.co.uk, sympathised with employers rather than broken-hearted (or nosy) exes on the issue.
He said: “We understand that it can be difficult during a break-up but this type of social media use – and the time it takes away from the employee doing their actual job – is costing employers on average £15 per month per person.
“When you multiply that by the number of lovesick workers using company computers to check up on their exes, that’s billions of pounds each year.”