Social media has been a blessing in many of our lives since its rise to prominence: it’s given us a new way to connect with people, it’s given us a way to keep us in touch with those we love who aren’t close by, and it’s provided great opportunities for us to vet anyone we might be considering a romantic relationship with.
In the age of social media, it’s incredibly easy to find out whether someone we want to go on a date with is even worth an initial meeting – just look up their social media accounts and find out if they secretly have entirely different views or opinions than you do so you can figure out if they’re a good match or whether you’re just wasting your time. Having all this information at your fingertips is incredibly helpful, right?
Maybe in the beginning… but what happens if that romantic relationship goes sour?
Social media has provided plenty of options to find someone, but unfortunately this new era of constant connection can mean that relationships – even platonic ones you may end – can last a lot longer than they should.
Not to mention, the prolonged breakup that can arise from still communicating on social media can cause any parties involved a lot more emotional stress than it needs to.
We all know so much more about each other’s’ lives than we used to, and giving up that level of access and intimacy is something we’re only just learning about with the millennial generation.
Facebook did recently engineer a way for couples who have parted to no longer see their activity on their feeds, but it’s different for those of us who no longer want anything to do with our exes. If it was a bad breakup, or you thought they were special but they ended up not being a good person, you may not want them to have any access to your social media at all. That’s usually where good old blocking comes in, so they’re cut off completely (and so are you), and it’s definitely effective for many people.
The problem is, the nature of social media allows anyone to make an account. Sometimes, even if you block your ex on every platform, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, there’s nothing stopping them making an alternate account to see what you’re up to if they’re so inclined. The probability of this happening, of course, is dependent on each relationship. But the feelings it prompts can range from mildly irritating to deeply unsettling if you find out it’s happening to you.
The relative ease it takes to access the account of an ex by these means can also make it harder for some to let go. The ability to so quickly find out what your ex is up to can turn from an occasional check-up into a daily habit and subsequent obsession. I personally know a several people who, after a breakup, have taken to “stalking” their exes online to see if their ex is getting over them the way they definitely aren’t. And naturally, this doesn’t just extend to the exes themselves.
For example, what do you do if you find out your ex is dating someone new via social media or vice versa? It’s always going to be a blow, but having the new partner’s information right there is just as tempting as having your ex’s right there. So what do you do?
There are plenty of coping mechanisms for this situation out on the web. Getting away from social media altogether, making sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people and new experiences, even seeking therapy for yourself to get past any lingering feelings or needs.
Mostly, it has to be up to us. Social media isn’t going anywhere – in fact it’s only becoming more entwined in our lives. Which unfortunitly means our exes are never going to be far away. Much like drowning our sorrows, we have to take responsibility for how much we allow ourselves to see and intrude on each other’s lives after a breakup, and just hope that the other people involved have the same discretion.
However, one thing is very clear: no matter what the terms of your breakup were, unfriending your ex is never the wrong idea! Especially if they’re unfaithful.
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com