If you recently went through a breakup, and your goal is to get over your ex, then social media also happens to be a dangerously addicting way to keep an eye (or two) on your ex. And all that energy you’ll be spending thinking about what your previous partner is up to is energy you won’t be using to move forward. While it might feel good, if you’re trying to figure out how to get over someone, then social media might be your enemy, not your ally.
To help you deal with social media after a breakup (especially your ex on social media), read below:
Three Types of Broken Hearts
Does social media really make it more difficult to get over your ex? Well, it depends on the type of person you are. While some studies do in fact suggest that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it more difficult, the fact remains that those who obsess over their exes would likely be obsessing anyway, and instead of social media stalking, they could do the old-fashioned drive-by and late night hang up.
According to Steve Whittaker of the University of California, Santa Cruz, social media has three types of broken hearts:
1. The Deleters: They delete every trace and connection to their ex as soon as the breakup happens.
2. The Keepers: They keep every connection they have with their ex, including photos of them together.
3. The Selective Deleters: They go throw everything and selectively keep or delete certain things based on certain criteria.
The research suggests that the keepers often feel sad because keeping everything continues to remind them of their ex. The deleters feel remorse for tossing away all their memories and the selective deleters feel a combination of sadness and remorse.
It’s all about self-control. It may seem like a good idea to delete months of your life from the Internet, but that’s not an easy solution. The truth is that the temptation to creep into your ex’s life will always be there, and social media makes it easy. That’s because it creates lasting connections that are not easy to erase. A lot of work goes into deleting digital photos or entire profiles. Once something is on the Internet, it’s pretty much there forever. There are some apps that can do the work for you (KillSwitch, Eternal Sunshine, Ex Lover, DrunkDial, etc.). However, using these programs could also lead to regret.
Even as many as 60% of married people admit to obsessing over an ex from time to time. They may focus on the good parts (and forget about the bad parts) of the relationship, especially when there is stress in their marriage. This is why reconnecting with an ex can be detrimental to a marriage.
Perhaps the best way to get over your ex is to ignore social media for a while. Spend some time in the real world. Go take a walk, sign up for a class, or get back into an old hobby you’ve been neglecting when you get the urge to go online and see what they’ve been up to. Let time pass and get over the worst part of the pain. Then make rational decisions about what needs to go and what needs to stay.
Your ex was not right for you and that’s why you’re not together. Stalking them on social media isn’t going to help you get over them. It also won’t help you find new love and move on. Give yourself permission to forget them, move on and make new memories with someone better.