Breakups. We’ve all been through them. Most of the time, they aren’t fun or easy. Of course, I say most of the time because sometimes breaking up with someone is, indeed, fun and easy. It’s safe to assume most of us have been there, too.
In the age of social media, word of a breakup can get around fast. Unfortunately, it seems some adults never really leave high school. When name calling and mudslinging becomes public, nobody enjoys it. Well, okay—a few of us twisted, sadistic, popcorn-eating Facebook surfers do enjoy a little drama from time to time—so long as we’re not involved, of course. ‘Oh, Brad and Katy are fighting over Facebook again? Make some snacks, it’s going to be a long night.’
In any case, social media acts as a public record of your activities. It logs and records your feelings and emotions at any given time, so do you really want that record to contain bitter, childish word vomit or mopey, depressed downers? Here are the five most important rules for handling your breakup on social media.
Rule #1: The Announcement
The first rule isn’t so much a rule as a question: do you want to announce your breakup over social media? Should you write that Facebook status or send out that tweet? The answer depends on a number of factors.
Was this a long-term relationship of 2 years or more? Can you handle writing the update in a mature, even-tempered way? If so, feel free to write that status. It’s worth noting, however, that there are a few options at your disposal for making this announcement.
Facebook has a Life Events feature that works well for handling delicate topics. It simply announces in plain language “so and so is now single.” This is a nice way to avoid the doom-laden or angry tone many take when announcing their break-up.
Rule #2: Don’t Drag Anybody Through the Mud
Are you obsessed with “winning” a breakup? If so, you may fall victim to the kind of righteous indignation that leads some people to drag their ex’s name through the mud. Doing so may win you a few likes and a ‘you go girl/boy,’ but ultimately it will make you appear immature and unable to have adult relationships.
After all, being able to handle a breakup with dignity and respect is a hallmark of being an adult. So no matter how bitter you feel, don’t let it spill out into your social media profile.
Rule #3: Don’t Post Vague Status Updates
It’s time to nip this in the bud: do not, under any circumstances, no matter how compelled you feel to do it, post vague and/or passive aggressive Facebook statuses. If you need someone to talk to, use Facebook’s PM function or Twitter’s direct message. Of course, you could talk to someone in real life—but you know, only if you want to. It might require going outside, and it’s scary out there.
What exactly do I mean by “vague status updates?” Here are a few, by way of example:
- Time to cut you out of my life.
- You hurt me so bad, but in the end I am stronger.
- So I give you everything I have and you treat me like garbage? Bye, Felecia.
- Wow. Anybody know a good Los Angeles divorce attorney?
- She was a thief, you gotta believe, she stole my heart and my cat.
Alright, so that last one was a line from So I Married an Axe Murderer, but you get the point.
Rule #4: It’s OK to Block
Some people are able to easily breakup and become friends again, but for others it requires time. If you feel the need to do so, remember it’s OK to block or unfriend someone on Facebook. If you’d rather not see posts that remind you of the past, your ex-partner will understand. If they don’t, tough luck. You’re not in a relationship with them anymore—you can do whatever you want.
Rule #5: It’s a new start, so post confidently about the new you.
It’s understandable to be sad after a breakup, but try your best not to let it bog you down. The faster you can pick up and move on with your life, the sooner you’ll get into your stride of being single again. Breakups are the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another, so when you post—keep it positive, and show the world the ‘new you.’
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