So, your heart’s been shattered into a million pieces. Or it was amicable, or you were the one who did the shattering. Whatever. Either way, it’s over, you’re single again and your new life starts right now. But wait, just because you’ve broken up in real life doesn’t mean it’s actually over. What about where it really counts? In the social media universe?
Tweeting, posting and sharing your dirty laundry seems like the answer, but it’s one that will be regretted later. “Engaging in social media wars is the stuff of middle school — and yet, we see it with celebrities, friends and family, and others,” says relationship expert and author April Masini, known for her relationship advice site, AskApril.com. “The old adage, ‘A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell,’ is one that you can apply to all genders and all situations. Someone with good manners keeps secrets from a broken relationship because blabbing to make yourself feel good for the moment, and to garner attention and support, isn’t the best way to do so.”
So, basically, keep your private stuff private — and no matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, that’s between you and your ex. By heading straight to social media, you’re the one who ends up looking bad — no one else. At a time you need all the support you can get, here’s what you should — and shouldn’t — do to get through it.
DON’T MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT
“Keep your personal business personal,” says Masini. “As you tell your closest friends and family about the breakup, it will get out. But there is no reason to send out a mass blast that you’re single. Be subtle. It’s good discipline, and it prevents regrettable posts.” Breakups suck, but that’s not a reason to give up on love. As long as you keep your social media self clean and don’t create more drama than your real life, it’ll be fine.
DO TRY TO BE PATIENT
The first thing you’ll want to do is grab the closest keyboard and let your fingers fly furiously as you want to give the world the best status update ever, on what a dirtbag your now-ex is and how hot and available you are. But in this digital age, where people are so quick to jump on social media to express their emotions, this is where you need to take a breath and stay off your computer and phone — unless you’re venting to your nearest and dearest and most trusted. The public does not need to know your business, not when it’s still so fresh.
DON’T LET THE ACTUAL BREAKUP PLAY OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Not only is it disrespectful but “it’s important to create closure by telling the person, face to face, that you’re breaking up,” advises Masini. “This eliminates confusion, and creates good will — even when the breakup is unpleasant.” Do you really want everyone breathing in your dirty laundry?
DO UPDATE YOUR STATUS
And by that we mean update it to “Private.” No one needs to have all your social milestones in their feed. You can always un-hide it later.
DON’T KEEP HIS CONTACT INFO
By removing him from your chat and messenger apps, you won’t be tempted to IM him. What used to be a way to check into each other’s lives every day is now a sad reminder that he is no longer in your life. While you’re at it, update your email and phone filters so his info is blocked. And in case he calls or writes, it’ll save you a lot of overanalyzing and give you the time and space you need to get over him.
DO UNFRIEND/UNFOLLOW YOUR EX
“By staying Facebook ‘friends’ or subscribing to your ex’s Instagram or Snapchat, you’re staying engaged,” warns Masini. “You may think you’re being civilized and friendly, but you’re just inviting yourself and your ex to keep from moving on and engage in gossip and amateur detective work.”
DON’T KEEP EVERY OLD PHOTOGRAPH
You probably have a thousand pictures of your ex. But, even it’s your favourite, where he’s posing during your Caribbean vacation with the sun setting in the pink and blue sky and the ocean is perfectly still behind him… delete it. Just because the scenery’s nice in one shot doesn’t mean a damn thing. That’s what postcards are for.
DO GET A GOOD PHOTO-CROPPING APP
The idea of you and him together only makes your stomach churn and heart ache so, like we said, it makes sense to delete pictures he is in. But considering how happy you were at the time, you probably look freakin’ stunning in many of them. Why would you want to get rid of a beauty shot of yourself? So instead just crop him the hell out. He’s out of the picture, you look hot. Win-win.
This one’s a toughy because everyone is guilty of doing this at one time or another. Even if it’s not physically skulking around in a trench coat, fedora and giant sunglasses but trolling his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts is just as bad, says Masini. Save yourself the time and the migraine.
DO BE HONEST
When it comes to your own social networking, most people can suss out the bullsh*t. And everyone knows that just the right filter (Valencia, FTW!) will make their life look better and more white picket fence-y. So instead of posting a gorgeous selfie that took 29 shaky takes with the caption “Loving life!!,” or one of those seemingly inspiring but totally bitter quotes, try avoiding saying or posting anything at all. At least for the first little while.
Showing off is always bad form, chides Masini, but showing off post-breakup just looks sad. Drunk-texting, fishing for meaningless Facebook likes and comments by sharing sexy, “I’m doing awesome” pics and or posting one of those vague cries for attention? Just don’t.
DO BE YOUR AWESOME SELF
Once you’re over him and it’s finally hit you that you’re free, go out with your girlies, throw some axes, meet some boys, read a book or wrestle some crocodiles. Basically, just do whatever makes you happy. The world is, once again, your oyster. Get out there and enjoy it. And if you want to post it then, then go ahead. Be proud of it. And you.