It used to be the worst part of a breakup was the actual breakup. Sure, you might have gotten your heart broken when the guy you met at the bookstore and dated for six months told you, “It’s not you, it’s me.” It probably didn’t feel good when your girlfriend told you she had met someone else. But unless you actively sought them out after that or they sought you out (which you could easily ignore if you wanted), you didn’t need to see them again. But now there is Instagram. There is Twitter. There is Facebook.
Not only is it possible to see your ex again as they pop up on your feed, you get to find out when they are seeing someone else. You even can find cute couple photos of them. Worse, those photos can just pop up as you scroll through your feed. You can see status updates like, “Took my sweetie on a trip to Napa for the weekend” and all the sickeningly adorable photos. Like it or not, breaking up is a lot harder these days.
If you think I am exaggerating, consider that late last year Facebook rolled out a program entirely for breaking up on the social network. It allows you to control what you see of your ex or to not see anything involving him or her at all.
But besides relying on social networks what can you do to make it easier on yourself during this time when it comes to Social Media?
While we can never control other people’s behavior, we can control our own. Don’t post things just hoping your ex will see them see how fabulous you are doing. It may feel good for a second but would you want that done to you? Furthermore, that second where it feels good actually prolongs you moving on because you’re still focusing on that ex.
Taking a Social Media break may not be a bad idea. The fact is, it’s good for your sleep; it’s good for your time management; it’s good for your actual social life. Now might be the time to actually do it and reap those benefits and the benefits of ignoring the people who are asking why your relationship status on Facebook went from “In a Relationship” to “Single.”
It sounds intense but it isn’t personal. It doesn’t mean your ex is a bad person or that one day you may unblock them (although sometimes it’s best to keep them blocked). But if you want to both keep them from randomly popping up and resist the urge to look at them (the choice to do so is taken out of your hands when they are blocked), this is an easy way to do it. It’s no different than setting any other type of interpersonal boundary. Just please don’t do it to be vindicated but for you own emotional health.
On those lonely days, your fingers may itch to look through all your ex’s recent posts, to see exactly what your ex has been up to, and who your ex has been seeing. It may come from a perfectly innocent place; maybe you just miss him or her. But it can quickly spiral out of control and you can find out information that is painful. As cheesy as it may sound, protect your heart and resist the temptation to look him or her up.
This is advice for every breakup, not just in terms of Social Media. Go out. Meet new people and friends. Try something you’ve never done before. Get your mind off of what happened (although of course, heal) and keep your hands and mind occupied so you can’t scroll through his Instagram.
Before Social Media, life was a lot simpler when it came to breakups. But of course, now there is Online Dating so maybe the internet age hasn’t been totally bad for relationships. Regardless, when it comes to breakups, in terms of Social Media or otherwise, you have to do what is best for you. It’s not selfish to take care of your heart as best you can, especially during this time.
NB Creative, Inc.
PlumbTalk Content Manager
Have you had to deal with a breakup in the digital age? How did you cope?