Getting one’s heart broken is one of the worst things that can happen to people, especially when your partner was your sun and moon and the only (or major) person who made your world go round. It even gets worse if you had been dating for a long time and were planning to get married and then suddenly, this person you love so much becomes a stranger to you.
People handle heartbreaks and grief in different ways: Some will punch walls until their knuckles become bloodied and scream until their lungs threaten to tear off. Others will just sit quietly, staring into space, tears tricking down their faces. Whichever way people chose to handle grief, it is valid – except if, of course, they are bringing harm to others.
There’s another way to handle heartbreaks and grief: talk to someone. In fact, therapists will advise you to never bottle up emotions and let it all out to someone you trust. In today’s world of social media, many people let out their grief to people-zzz online.
Coming out to talk about your relationship, the nonexistence of it, or your heartbreak on social media is not new. We all “aww” and “God-when” when celebrities share their love stories. We all rejoice with them when they share happy moments. Still, we all condemn their actions when they come out to drag themselves like small gen when their love stories become sour. There’s always the “oh, you shouldn’t have said that, you should have kept this to yourself, no one needs to know what’s going on in your relationship.” We have the how’s and the how-nots of how people should react to heartbreak – especially because we are not the ones wearing their shoes.
Recently, a young man broke up with his girlfriend on social media. Fam, I kid you not. According to him, he ‘caught’ her cheating with another guy and came to announce their break-up on social media without telling her that he wasn’t interested in the relationship anymore. It didn’t end there, he revealed very sensitive information about her, posted her photo, and tagged her. If you read his thread – which he did around past 6 am and deleted immediately – you’ll notice that that dude was hurting terribly. He probably could not sleep all through the night.
Many people have come out to say that his actions were wrong because 1) His thread set up his ex-girlfriend for bullying, especially since he posted her face and tagged her, 2) Her sensitive information was not his to disclose and he was wrong by disclosing what she told him in confidence to the general public, and 3) No one truly cares, people just want to hear the latest gossip, laugh over it, give hot takes and move on.
But others have said, “look, you cannot tell a grieving man how to react.” We have to realise that social media is a part of people’s lives and since we advise people to always let out their grievances, there’s nothing wrong with sharing on social media and since he was the one who was cheated on, according to his thread, he had every right to call her out and tag her. There’s an insistence that you cannot tell people how to deal with their pain and if what he did will make him feel better, then so be it.
Aside from that, a lot of people do not have offline friends or close-knitted family members they can easily talk to. Outside social media, some people are lonely and alone. It is little wonder that social media is a place of succour and entertainment for so many people. There are those who have shared their stories on social media and have gotten help or found love, so you cannot fault people for sharing their grievances online, right?
But where do you draw the line, especially when it does not concern only you? How do you decide what to share and what not to share when you are grieving? How do you even care about these invisible lines that shouldn’t be crossed when you are hurting terribly? Remember that when you come out to talk about your relationship, you are also speaking – to a large extent – about and for the other party. Do you care about the hurt you are causing that person by ‘coming out’ – especially if he/she was the one who hurt you first? Or do you throw all caution to the wind? Do you wash your linens in public if that’s what will make you feel better or do you choose to suck it up and suffer in silence?
Social media is a huge part of our lives so it’s not wrong to share, right? But when it comes to your relationships or marriage, how much information is too much?