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Social Media & Breakups

Updated on July 1, 2013
Let's just be virtual friends?
Let's just be virtual friends? | Source

Should We Stay Facebook Friendly?

Nearly everybody maintains online profiles at the social media channels: Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are just a few of them. When we started seeing our now ex-partner, we probably made an online connection with them through at least one of these sites. Once the relationship ends, we're faced with a dilemma: Do we allow them to stay active on our social media?

There are two schools of thought on the subject. Some people feel it's immature to block them, while others think it's entirely appropriate. Neither decision is wrong, but here are some points to consider before making your decision.

1. What kind of person is your ex? If you have reason to believe they could physically harm you, or if you think they are obsessed with you or the relationship, then the choice should be clear. Don't give a potentially dangerous person any information that lets them suss out where you'll be, what you'll be doing, or who you may be spending time with.

2. Similarly, if they're overly dependent on you for the way they feel about themselves, it might be kinder to banish them from your online world. You don't want to learn that they attempted suicide just because you went out on a date with someone new.

3. Which sites have you shared? LinkedIn profiles geared toward professional activities aren't likely to make you or your ex emotionally vulnerable, while Facebook and Twitter can provide opportunities for hostile comments and gossip. You may decide to keep your ex on some sites but not others, with a brief explanation to him or her about the reason for your decision.

4. What kind of information do you normally post on your accounts? Some people share jokes and inspirational quotes without revealing much personal information, while others want their pals to know when they shampooed their hair. Look back through your posts (including those that you made before you were in that now-defunct relationship) to see what kind of information your ex might be seeing about you. If you're comfortable with them having those details, then no harm will come from keeping them on your friends list. On the other hand, if you cringe at the idea of them reading your "I'm sad and lonely" posts, you might just want to take action so they won't be able to see them.

5. If you've declared that there will be "No Contact," it's a no-brainer. Remove them. If you don't, you're allowing contact. Going against your own word is almost never a good plan.

6. If you're very concerned about what others will think about your decision to remove someone, you can first send your ex a brief, polite note. "Dear Ex, I think it's best to do my healing privately and not expose myself to the source of my pain. Thank you in advance for your understanding."

7. After removing your ex, you may still want to be cautious about revealing too much. Mutual friends may share information from your posts with them.

8. If you recognize that the likelihood of drama is low, and that goodwill still exists with your ex, go ahead and keep them.

Have you ever been faced with this dilemma? How did you handle it?

Break Up with Facebook Until You're Feeling Better


Submit a Comment

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    I don't get it, either. Although I have both of my ex-husbands on my FB, it's because I have respect for them or care in some way. The people who I do not want in my life are not on my FB anywhere. Thanks for posting, Stricktlydating!

  • stricktlydating profile image

    StricktlyDating 5 years ago from Australia

    A while back I wrote a Hub titled "If he dumps you delete him from your Facebook Friends". It helps with moving forward, stops your ex from being able to peek at what you're up to and stops you from having a weak moment when he posts a status about what he's doing. Your ex does not deserve to know what you're up to! I think ignoring friend requests from ex's is a good idea too. Some people 'collect' their ex's on FB. Unless that's for playing games, I don't get it!

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    I applaud you for putting your spouse ahead of all others. It's something we all should do whenever it won't make us "less" ourselves.

    Thanks for posting, Erica.

  • ericalarsen profile image

    ericalarsen 5 years ago

    Honestly, I am in the camp of no ex's as friends. I love my husband more than anything in the world and we have a fanatastic relationship. But he is my best friend, the man I talk to when I need help, and I don't want the temptation to share too much info with someone who is no longer a part of my life. If they are upset that I don't have them as a friend, that is their issue. If I haven't talked to them in 15 years why would I want to now?

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you both!

  • Ehtesham12 profile image

    Ehtesham12 5 years ago from Islambad

    Nice hub.voted up and useful.

  • Brett.Tesol profile image

    Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

    voted up and useful.

    Your points and advice are good, as it is surprising how upset people get about being removed as a friend from social media, even when you no longer speak to them or see them in real life. Hence, you need to weigh up the positives and negatives before removing them.

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks, Aunt Mollie!

  • profile image

    Aunt Mollie 5 years ago

    You've offered some great advice here.

  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Serena, your view might not be shared by everyone, but it sure isn't unpopular with me at all. I don't use my actual name on sites like Facebook, and I stick to non-personal information and jokes for my posts. Even so, a complete stranger could figure out what kinds of topics appeal to me, who I know, and heaven-only-knows what else.

  • profile image

    Serena Gabriel 5 years ago

    Social networking is a bad idea, in general, unless you use a name other than your own and stick strictly to things like marketing.

    I realize this is probably not the most popular view, but when you broadcast your personal information, you open the door to abuses from all kinds of people, including exes and strangers.

    Thought-provoking article.


  • jellygator profile image

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks, Keeley! That kind of trust and openness is a blessing, isn't it? Congratulations on your happier relationship!

  • Keeley Shea profile image

    Keeley Shea 5 years ago from Norwich, CT

    Great Hub! Facebook caused problems in my marriage especially while going through my divorce. Lots of jealousy (even unwarranted) can erupt. Now that I am divorced and have a boyfriend we both share our facebook accounts with each other. I believe this shows trust and it is also something to do together. Often a source for laughter! I am happy to be in a healthy relationship. Thanks for writing - you bring up some great points to think about!