6 ways to get through a breakup in the age of social media
Modern breakups appear to be a lot more complicated than those of past generations. As if having your heart broken in real life isn’t hard enough, nowadays, it’s also put on display for our online worlds to see.
Oh, the agony! It begins with the actual “[Name] is now single” Facebook update so your entire list of friends will be able to acknowledge it, and unfortunately, it doesn’t quite end there.
The painful spiral continues on in many evil forms. From hitting that “un-friend” button, to contemplating a “block” upgrade, to “accidentally” coming across a photo of your former love getting cozy with a new “friend.”
Then, you face the grueling task of deleting old photos of the both of you together, back when you were lovers and not haters.
Awkward run-ins are no longer limited to the chance of bumping into your ex randomly on the street. Technology now allows for our exes to follow us around in our pockets and in our bags, wherever we go, making the process of truly getting over someone all the more difficult.
With this in mind, here is a social media survival guide to help you heal that achy-breaky heart:
1. Address your relationship status
One of the biggest points of anxiety for a lot of people is changing the relationship status on Facebook. Who wants to make a public declaration of their breakup? Nobody.
Prepare for the update to pop-up on all of your friends’ news feeds and get ready for the sad face emoji comments to roll in. This grueling process might make you want to throw your phone in the ocean, but it needs to happen. So, it’s best to just rip it off like a bandage — painful, but quick!
2. Hit those un-friend and un-follow buttons
Just because you’ve changed your relationship status to single doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Picture this: You wake up to a brand new day, scroll down on your news feed and stumble upon photos of your ex having fun without you.
Your ex looks better than ever — or even worse, getting close with someone else — before you’ve even had your morning coffee.
Ouch! Although he may move on quickly, you can choose not to see it, especially not while the breakup is still so fresh. So, go ahead and do yourself a favor by hitting the unfriend and unfollow buttons. Out of sight, out of mind! Clean slate, here you come!
3. Breakups call for cleanups
Your profile now identifies you as single and you’re no longer friends with your ex — but, your account is still filled with old photos and shared statuses of the happy couple you once were.
Breakups call for a cleanup, but instead of just collecting the odd clothes, DVDs and toothbrushes he or she left around your house, take it one step further by deleting photos, statuses and check-ins you shared.
During the process, you may feel remorse and guilt, but afterward, you will feel refreshed and liberated. Just in case this isn’t enough of an incentive for you, imagine learning that your ex did it first. Start cleaning!
4. Manage the traps
It’s now time to cover all possible slip-ups. Consider unfriending loyal allegiances to your ex with those whom you don’t see yourself sustaining a future friendship. For those with whom you wish to continue a relationship, opt to create a filter by unfollowing them for the meantime.
These dramatic, yet necessary steps may just make the differences that will prevent you from the temptation of stalking your ex. Remember, these social media settings exist for a reason, so take advantage.
5. You’re not being subtle; you’re being awkward
It has become an almost instinctive reaction to share feelings on social media after a breakup. Although the thought of your ex somehow seeing or hearing about just how great you’re doing may seem to be appealing at first, ultimately, you’re doing more harm to yourself than good.
Passive aggressive statuses like, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” or hashtags like, “#singleandreadytomingle” aren’t ideal, either. You may think you’re being subtle, but really, you’re just being awkward. Don’t air out your dirty laundry in public.
6. Come on, get happy
Perhaps one of the biggest favors you could do for yourself is to go completely offline for a while. Even a one-week detox could make all the difference. Spend time crying into a pillow, having a solo sad-movie marathon or catching up with friends with whom you’ve lost touch.
Log out and give yourself time to heal, space to move on and an opportunity to get back on that horse. Do this so that next time you log in, that happy photo or status you post won’t feel like a lie — it will be reality.