I am not a relationship expert, but I’ve had my heart broken more than I’d like to admit. On this journey in heartbreak, I realized that a significant part of emotionally surviving a breakup is to take a break from anything that could be toxic in your environment, including social media. No, you do not have to delete everything or go into hibernation, but you do have to stay off them as much as possible and take the initiative to block or unfollow your ex to prevent you from seeing their posts. It relates to the old saying, “Out of sight out of mind.”
Get off Social Media? What Kind of Sick Suggestion Is This?
Trust me; I am not anti-social media or someone who believes it’s destroying humanity. It’s the opposite. I am a blogging millennial with a pro-social media stance. However, I am not naive to the harm it can have on a person’s mental health. Social media connects us to everyone, including people we are “suppose” to move on from at some point.
Think about it like a physical wound. If you don’t allow yourself to heal, you only do more damage. A broken heart is an internal wound, and social media keeps that wound open and exposed. After a breakup, we torture ourselves by staying connected to our ex via social media. We check to see whose pics they liked, who they are following and analyze every new post on their feed. It gives us a false sense of hope that we may still be relevant to our ex-lover. Snapchat views, Instagram and Facebook ‘Likes’ suddenly translates as he or she may still have romantic feelings. We inflict emotional and mental pain on ourselves. It keeps us from shutting a door that is desperately waiting to be slammed shut.
I highly doubt you have ever heard someone going through a breakup say, “Following him on Instagram has given me closure.” It’s more along the lines of, “Did you see his post the other day…” It’s a constant reminder that we are not with the person we once loved, which makes us more insecure.
My Social Media Experience After a Bad Breakup #LessonLearned
I was in a toxic relationship for two years, and I am not sharing this to evoke empathy, but to give you a personal example. When it ended, I kept everything inside. It’s the type of breakup that has little to do with losing love, but more to do with losing yourself. I was angry and felt like a fool. I used social media as a way of showing him that I was unaffected by his abuse. Posting pictures of myself with friends and appearing as though I was utterly unbreakable when inside I was completely shattered. I did everything I could to make sure he would see my posts. I believed it would give me closure. Nope! Less than two months after our breakup I saw a Facebook post of him smiling on the beach with another woman with the caption, “In paradise with this beautiful girl.” I felt overwhelmed with such intense anger it was suffocating. It was apparent he had no remorse for the pain he caused me.
I blocked him on all my accounts and stepped away from social media. I confronted the mental pain of a broken heart and an abusive relationship that I tried so hard to ignore. I realized that I was relying on social media to do the impossible. It’s like trying to mow the lawn with your car and expecting good results. In reality, it ends in disaster.
When Do I Get Back on Social Media After a Breakup?
Let’s say you read this post while you’re going through a terrible breakup. You take my advice and tell yourself that you will keep off social media for 30 days. You do it, and on day 31 you grab your phone and open up Instagram. If one of the first things you do is unblock your ex or search their username @personthatbrokeyourheart, you are not ready. It’s like going on a diet for 30 days, and on day 31 you go back to eating junk food. What happens? You gain all the weight back and probably feel even worse. When you don’t feel the need to use social media to connect or check up on your ex-lover, then take a selfie and announce your social comeback. #ImBackBetch
Following your ex, or someone who romantically rejected you, on social media has no benefits, so why do it? You are traveling on a road that leads to a dead end. Social media is meant to share epic moments and periods of our lives with those who deserve it. Breakups suck, but guess what? You are going to be okay, and you are going to find a love that will make you look back at your exes and think, “Holy sh*t what the f*ck was I thinking!” I can’t wait for you to find that type of love. Social media isn’t going anywhere don’t worry!
For more mental health content, follow me @hannahdblum