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What's the psychology behind social media stalking your ex?

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Hi all, just a random question --


I am super happily married, and my ex seems happily committed to a lovely lady. He and I aren't really friends and don't communicate -- but there isn't any acknowledged bad blood.


Yet I find myself stalking him frequently, and stalk his current girlfriend even more. And I see that he stalks me on the Instagrams more than anyone else does. (I don't think he knows that I know that he stalks me -- or I'm sure he wouldn't do it.) So what gives? Why the curiosity?


Why do we do this? As humans? I certainly don't miss him or the relationship (it was awful) and can't imagine he particularly misses me (as he did most of the dumping). So why the constant stalkage?


Part of it, of course, is the one-up factor: I want to make sure I'm the happier, cooler one who "won the breakup." Think that's his deal, too?


I haven't seen the guy in like five years. It's stupid to even ponder this, isn't it?

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Oh, if you post these things called "Instagram Stories," you automatically are told who all clicks to watch them. My ex clicks on them almost immediately after they post, and will go back several times a day to look at any updates. So, twisted person that I am, every week or so I'll post pictures of my husband being awesome or the two of us doing interesting things. Just to be like, ha ha, you're watching my life look great. (I must reiterate: It's not posturing, the husband and I really are besties. And he knows that I do keep tabs on the ex. I also keep tabs on HIS ex. I'm just a stalker, I guess.)


My ex doesn't have much of a social media presence, so my stalking is far less fruitful. I still do it though. His girlfriend seems very cool, and although we no longer live in the same city, I have a ton of mutual friends with her so I know what's up. The tragedy, of course, is that I can't really hate on her because she seems like someone I'd have been friends with. But I'm fascinated all the same.

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Oh yeah, I totally get off on seeing him stalk me and it's totally petty. Hence why I'm writing this. We're not pining over each other. Just don't understand why we both... bother? That said, there's no real impetus to stop.


I suppose I have some unresolved issues on my end: I do wonder why he didn't see that I was worthwhile, or something. So I try to cement that point, since my life really has substantially improved in all departments -- love-wise, career-wise, socio-economically, travel-wise, the works. But I have a chip on my shoulder. His actions made me feel very down on myself for a very long time.


But what's his motivation? I guess he's just weirdly curious, too.

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