Surviving heartbreaks in the age of social media
The really crazy thing about being heartbroken and riding out the storm is that there are no manuals on the ‘hows and how nots’ of heartbreaks.
Social media break-ups
The first few hours after the break-up are usually the worst. Especially in the age of social media.
After my last break-up (not my first), I realised that it was going to be even harder than it had been in the past. My girlfriend, now ex, had informed me of our break-up through the humblest means possible: the Instagram Direct Message. Now, this wouldn’t have meant anything; but, as we met through Instagram, that stung!
In the minutes that followed, I found myself sitting by my phone contemplating if it would be childish to unfollow her Instagram account. Block her or something. But, as I stared at my phone, it quickly dawned on me that she was gone and there was nothing I could do about it.
I began combing through her hundreds of Instagram posts, looking for clues. Was this all a joke? But the joke was on me, as I realized she had deleted all the pictures of us. My head began to pound as though I had opened a door leading to my skull and invited drummers in there.
Don’t leave me hanging
A friend of mine recently got his share of heartbreak and, because his story was similar to mine, I offered to help him ‘spy’ on the girl on social media. Because I am that kind of super-friend.
I followed the girl on Twitter and Instagram. Occasionally, I would send screenshots of her status updates to him and we would have long discussions about her. According to him, this helped him go through the process a little.
The girl hadn’t just broken up with him, she had also blocked him on every single social media platform. I would ask him why she did this but he would reply that he didn’t know.
I could relate. This is one of the reasons social media relationships are so hard because of the lack of closure for at least one of the parties.
Before my ex broke it off with me, for instance, she had severally stood me up on dates she suggested, and she had never been able to offer me any reason why. So when she finally broke up with me, I knew better than to ask questions.
Someone to talk to
But more than getting answers about our break-up, what I really wished for was someone I could talk to while I was trying to pick myself up again. I was not brave enough to ask. My friend was able to confide in me. I, on the other hand, was lurking in the shadows of all her posts.
What happens to you when you have someone else to talk to is that you open up a channel to unload whatever hurt or hate you might feel towards your ex.
My friend, for example, was back in the game faster than I could imagine, while I was still complaining about how I wasn’t meeting the kinds of women I liked. My friend was going on dates and was already telling about how he felt he had met someone he would like to date for a long stretch.
If I had been brave enough to share my pain, I may have gotten my much-needed closure much sooner.
What are your tips for getting over break-ups when you can keep on checking on your ex’s every move on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Follow us instead and share your thoughts.