So you’ve broken up in real life. But what if you and your former boo are still connected on the internet? Should you unfriend and unfollow, block them, or let it be? Here’s what you can to do deal with your ex on social media.
Decide what your boundaries are. Whether you’ve decided to just stay friends or the break-up felt like a crash-and-burn, think about how much privacy you need from your ex online. Maybe you just need a little time offline and when you come back you won’t mind seeing their face in your feed. Or maybe you need some serious boundaries between you and your ex online. Parting ways with a significant other presents the perfect chance to invest in your healing and think about how private you want some or all of your accounts to be.
Embrace the (potential) awkwardness. If you’ve just gone through a breakup, chances are your feelings are kind of raw right now. It might seem cathartic to hash things out on the internet, but writing a post about your ex or blocking their account might make the breakup worse. If you feel like you’ll fall into a spiral by seeing your ex’s posts, go ahead and change your settings to what feels best for you. But if you’re not in immediate danger, avoid posting publicly about your breakup or making big gestures by blocking or unfriending. It might be awkward for not, but taking big actions to block or defriend might stir up more drama. For now, maybe unfollow your ex’s account or adjust your settings to limit who can see your posts. Make a long-term game plan once the freshness of the breakup settles down.
Check your privacy settings. Most social media sites allow you to adjust who can see your profile, posts, and activities. If you have friends in common and you need more privacy from your old boo, ask your friends not to tag or post pictures of you. BTW, if you and your partner shared passwords to your email or social media accounts, now is a good time to change them to something new.
Resist the urge to check their account. It might feel irresistible, but it’s doable. While you might be curious about what your ex is up to now, checking their accounts might lead you into an unnecessary rabbit hole. If you feel like you’ll be tempted to check their accounts, ask a trusted friend to be your accountability buddy. You’ll feel better just letting it be.
Know where to go if you need help. If your breakup has you feeling unsafe in any way, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. If an ex or someone you don’t know is repeatedly following and unfollowing your account, sending you unwanted messages, or sending friend requests from different accounts, you might be experiencing digital abuse. Keep a record of what is happening to you and remember that help is available. You deserve respect even after a breakup.
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