Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love
After my last relationship ended, I was consumed by anxiety, like most of us are after a breakup. Luckily, a couple of weeks after it ended, I had to travel overseas and had limited access to social media as often. Boom! After only a few days, I noticed a major difference in my mental health. My heart was still broken, but stepping away from social media reduced my anxiety majorly. It created a space for me to start the process of healing. This is what I want for those of you who are going through heartbreak.
Get off Social Media? What Kind of Sick Suggestion Is This?
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. Sure, we are no longer texting and calling them, but they continue to be somewhat present in our lives through these platforms. Unfriending them does not mean we still do not have access to them. Every time you go on, you are tempted to look.
We drive ourselves into a panic based on what we see on social media. We continue to follow their social media activity, because deep inside we are not ready to let go. We are petrified they are going to move on, so we overanalyze anything and everything that may indicate they are with someone else. From checking who liked their recent photo to finding a way to go through their InstaStory without them knowing.
Social media can give us a false sense of hope when it comes to love and love lost. We think that our ex viewing our InstaStory means they still have feelings. A social media like indicates that the relationship may not be entirely over. Is this insane? Absolutely not. It’s honest. There is no shame. One of the hardest parts of a break up is accepting that it’s over, but social media keeps us from this part of the process.
I was in a toxic relationship for two years, and when it finally ended I was both relieved and angry. It was the type of breakup that has little to do with losing love, but more to do with losing yourself. I felt like a fool, and social media became my way of claiming my power back. Posting pictures of myself with friends and appearing as though I was utterly unbreakable when inside I was completely shattered. I believed it would give me closure. False. 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 had a meltdown. I was relying on social media to heal my pain, but only I had the power to do that.
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