Before you send another picture to your ex via Snapchat, try to remember that last time you’ve talked to him/her outside of the digital world. Your romantic relationship might’ve ended, but when is it time to break up your social media relationship with them?
“Ironically, I was ending a long-term relationship around the time I decided to delete every form of social media,” a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, Grace Nedeau, says via text. “My breakup was not my initial purpose of doing it but it certainly did help.”
Once you and your partner have officially ended things, there’s now a gray area in which we communicate because of Snapchat and other applications. Do we continue sending photos back and forth every day? Do we still follow them on Instagram or Twitter?
Too often after a breakup, we pour our feelings into social media in hopes we’ll find a cure by gaining likes on a picture.
Nedeau adds social media has gained so much strength thus transforming into an outlet, not only for creative expression but also a way of sharing thoughts and feelings. Now becoming a massive part of staying connected with friends and family.
“My entire mindset, alignment with my lifestyle, self worth, validation from others, relationships, and surroundings have shifted entirely for the better.”
“In reality, social media is a game that never ends and ultimately causes a bigger issue within your breakup and yourself,” Nedeau says. “You lose sight of who you are, you lose sight of your actual beliefs, you lose validation from your own self-worth, and to be quite honest–nobody actually cares what you’re posting.”
Nedeau explains that the best cure for a breakup is not posting on social media, but being aware of everything given to you. To find activities keeping you moving forward in life, rather than backward.
We find validation from others during heartbreak.
“I started to cherish relationships that I hadn’t before because of the lack of virtual connection,” she says. “I started to understand my self-worth and that I didn’t need validation from anyone but myself to feel good and love for my living.”
Millennials and generations to follow have normalized the act of posting every detail of our lives on the internet. We believe that to cope with our feelings we must abide by the standards created by social media: posting our emotions online constantly. On Facebook we repetitively change our relationship status’ from single to in a relationship, it’s complicated, and circling back to single.
“Without social media, we all feel a little detached from the world and people,” said Katie Gerald, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.
“It’s a big part of the way we communicate and relate to others today.”
What happened to consuming insane amounts of chocolate ice cream after getting dumped?
Monica Geller and Rachel Greene from Friends explain to Chandler Bing after a breakup that sugary ice-cream is saved for the truly terminal cases. Replacing it with the low-cal, non-dairy, soy milk junk for “when you start getting screwed over all the time,” as Monica would say.
Blair and Serena from Gossip Girl easily got over guys by running off to Paris, France. Jessica Day from New Girl shows us that moving in with new roommates and singing along to Dirty Dancing on loop cures all heartbreak. All while Elle Woods from Legally Blonde gets a law degree just because a boy called her dumb.
It’s normal wanting to change after a breakup by getting a drastic haircut or having a few nights out with your girlfriends. We get it, we’ve all been there. But now, it’s switched from insane amounts of ice-cream to blocking your ex on social media trying to erase the entire relationship.
Baby Boomer, Cathy Evon, shares her personal experience of breakups before the creation of Instagram and Twitter.
Evon tried to relive her first breakup from a younger age, back to when she was only fifteen and not allowed to ‘car date’ just yet.
“I don’t envy you guys one bit when it comes to dating today,” shares Evon over the phone. “Whenever a boyfriend and I broke up, that was it. He went to a different school, we didn’t have phones to keep in contact, and it was just a clean easy break of never seeing him again.”
She wasn’t able to stalk her exes on Instagram. Instead, she always fought to remind herself that there will always be someone else. To live life presently until that person came around. Social media aids to heartbreak by being a constant reminder of what you had, not giving you time to forget and move on.
Evon never kept close contact with her exes after breaking up, besides the casual run-in at the grocery store.
There wasn’t Snapchat to stir up lingering feelings and cause more problems over unnecessary conversations. Evon said keeping contact with an ex after a break up is unnecessary unless you’re able to stay friends outside of the digital world.
“It’s harder, today, to get away when your ex-boyfriend(s) are constantly in your face through these tiny devices and accounts we all have.”
With age, we mature in our habits to rid of old heartbreak and we grow to cope with healthier mechanisms. We learn to disconnect from the artificial world created by our fingertips and explore the life surrounding us from outside of a screen.
We learn to break up with social media.
Click here to read the full interview with Grace Nedeau.