Social Media has changed relationships, the way we communicate and even break ups with our ex’s.
Once upon a time, breaking up meant an awkward conversation, removing a picture or two from your bed stand, and packing up your ex’s things into a box –never to be seen again. If your ex tried to call you afterward, you could ignore the call by sending it to voicemail. These days breakups are way different. Aside from having to publicly display your changed relationship status to 500+ Facebook friends and then field tons of questions from people you hardly speak with (case in point: misery loves company), there are so many things to consider, like: do I unfriend? Just the ex, or the ex and his/her friends? Their family? Where do you draw the line?
Wouldn’t it be great if somewhere under privacy settings, we had a special option for the people we’ve had relations with? One click and Facebook knows to block all content to them and update all of their existing tagged photos with horns? This would actually make for a pretty awesome app. Unfortuanely, no such thing exists (not yet at least).
In the best case (if you are super strong), you cut off all ties and forget you know the ex –or that he/she has an online identity at all. In the worst case, you succumb to your curiosity and snoop, and snoop, and snoop…
Lives Consumed by Technology
Our day and age has our lives consumed by technology. Thanks to social media sites (ex: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.) and networking sites (ex: LinkedIn), virtually every detail of our lives is a wide open spectacle. Most people have their photos, relationship status, employer, age, geography, phone number, email, friend lists and even current location out in the open for everyone to see. With this bevy of information on display, it’s really quite astonishing what can be deduced about a person –whether you know them or not. While social media sites can be excellent tools for communication when used properly, they can be haunting when misused (ex: for snooping).
Whether they’ll own up to it or not, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t checked out an ex’s page on Twitter or Facebook, gone through their photos, checked who they’ve friended, etc. With so much information available on demand, it’s virtually impossible not to re-visit the past; and quite frankly, when it’s one click away, it’s only human to want to know. But that curiosity makes moving on difficult, even if we absolutely know the relationship is over (and we were the one to initiate the breakup!).
Survey Says: We’re All a Bunch of Stalkers
According to a survey by YourTango.com, a love and relationship site, 74% of people look up their ex on the Internet and 86% admit to clicking through photos of them (14% of those people are married!). It’s not surprising then, that 71% reported they think about their ex too much. Well, how are you supposed to stop thinking about your ex when you know exactly where they are, with whom, and which mutual friends they’re still connected with? It’s simply not. After releasing these results, YourTango recognized that even if you’re married, when it comes to really putting the past in the past, we’re all basically screwed. So they came up with an empowering idea: “Break Up With Your Ex Day.” Every February 13th (the day before Valentine’s Day), YourTango encourages us to unfriend, unfollow, block and basically stop stalking our ex’s online. They even created an online badge for users to post publicly once they’ve completed the required steps to cleanse of the ex. Not sure if you have a problem? YourTango has quizzes to help you gauge exactly how obsessed you are.
Put a Stop to The Madness
Whether you’re single, dating, in a serious relationship, married or divorced, keep in mind that your past is never more than a click away. Truth be told, only you have the power to move on with your life by putting a hard stop to the social media stalking.
While designating a special day to unfriend, unfollow, de-tag — whatever it takes to cut your ex out of your life – is brilliant, I say don’t wait til’ February – do it now. I just did