Breaking Up In The Age Of Social Media

social media - breaking up
Breaking up has changed. Back in the old days (like ’06), breaking up meant never having to see or hear from each other ever again.

As a general rule, that worked well. After all, they’ve become you’re ex for a reason. Break ups were hard, but you moved on.

In today’s age of social media saturation/integration/invasion, nothing is final. Not even breaking up. Moving out, avoiding shared spaces…that’s the easy part. Disconnecting the entangled web of shared social media networks and spaces, well that’s something else entirely.

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The absurdity of this situation became apparent to me when a friend of mine mentioned something about her ex to me when we were talking recently. It struck me as odd that she would know this very specific detail about someone she had broken up with nearly five years ago. It turns out, they’re Facebook friends and they’ve recently started following each other on Instagram as well. It doesn’t mean anything though, I was assured, as they’d never “talk to each other or see each other in person”. Well, that’s a relief.

To borrow the wise words of Liz Lemon, “What the what?!”

Why would any person who doesn’t enjoy inflicting pain on themselves, choose to remain connected to their ex? I know of friends who had mild or easy breakups and have managed to remain friends with their exes. In those cases, I get it. But my friend and her ex had a baaaaad break up.

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breaking up

Is it me? Am I that old fashioned that I think it’s slightly weird that exes are still Facebook friends, but no longer see each other in real life?

At the age of 33, I have never used a gay hook up app. I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but they’re for my business and this blog. So while I’m not a social media virgin, I’ve really only gone to first base. I don’t live in social media land the way a lot of people, including my friend, do.

But it’s for that reason that I would expect someone who lives and breathes Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc., to be even more motivated to cut off all ties with their ex. Or maybe, the hyper-reality of social media has created new rules for old relationships. Maybe these days, you can remain connected to your ex, but it really doesn’t mean anything?




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