In October 2020, I began a total, immersion program, part of which involved going thirty days with no social media. Just recently I had this moment of clarity and knew what I had to write about: social media, especially social media breakup.

Inspiration From A Social Media Post

A while ago, the husband of this beautiful married couple I know shared in a post on social media that they were getting a divorce. He wrote that it was the hardest post he would ever write, and so on. Then a few months later, he shared a picture of him basking in the sun on a beach with the new love of his life, his newfound soulmate. 

I had very mixed feelings when I saw this. While I am always happy for people when they find their true love, I was taken back and had a weird reaction to the post. I thought, “How insensitive to the ex-wife. It is too soon!” I wanted to be happy for the person who found love, and I also wanted to support someone who might be in a lot of pain. And then it hit me that social media breakups have to be the absolute worst. 

Social Media Break-Up Deb's Den

Breakups In The Time Of Social Media

Before social media, you broke up, then you went on your own way. Occasionally you ran into a mutual friend or someone who reminded you of your ex at a party. But your ex was not in your face every day with photos and posts. Breakups are especially hard if they involve divorce. You most likely shared mutual friends and interests. And you did activities with other couples and built a network on social media. When it doesn’t work out, then what? 

In 2004 when my divorce was final, I went to a therapist who said that divorce can be like a death. Back then there was no social media, so I did not have to suffer through photos of my ex and his new girlfriend-soon-to-be-wife. I cannot even imagine how I would have handled that. I had a hard enough time processing without all that extra interference.

Today it is a much different story. It is too easy to hit the search button and look for photos of what your ex is doing and with whom. It is the modern-day emotional cutting. I am guilty of it. I go through a breakup and head straight over to social media to see what my ex is doing, looking for a clue to see if he is seeing someone new. Then to see photos of my ex looking happy with someone new, or worse, with friends we were just with—I mean, just kill me now! Who needs this unbearable, emotional pain? Social media breakups are the worst!

We Need Social Media Etiquette

Going back to that married couple, I saw that post and had a reaction for the ex. I thought we now need social media etiquette. When I did some soul searching and meditated on it, I realized we cannot control what other people do, but we can take care of our hearts. Sometimes after a breakup, it might be good to stay away from social media while you are healing your heart. 

Although we cannot control others, I would hope that within the first six to twelve months after a breakup, if you find your soulmate and you are going through a divorce—and especially if you have kids—you keep your new love life private. The most loving thing you can do is to protect your ex and family from any further pain. And if you were in a serious relationship, take into account how would this affect the person you were just with. Breakup with social media during your breakups!

We need social media etiquette today. It has gotten out of hand. Social media are not a place to bad mouth or humiliate anyone. If you feel the need to hurt someone publicly, you need to look deep within and figure out why. Why do you need the support of social media to hurt another human? That is really sad. We should not flaunt a new relationship without taking into consideration how that would make your ex, kids, ex’s family, and friends feel. Believe it or not, people get uncomfortable in these situations. 

Social Media Break-up

Stay Healthy

For our own recovery, we must focus on our emotional health and stay in our hearts. Make decisions out of love, and take into consideration the feelings of those around us. This took me a long time to figure out. I am thankful that social media wasn’t around for many of my breakups. And I am grateful that I understand now the hurt I might have caused someone before social media! 

I know it is not people’s intent to hurt someone most of the time when they fall in love. And when we are in the state, it is hard to remember what others might be feeling. 

Let’s all use some common sense and social media etiquette, and keep our love lives private! 

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  1. Thanks Debbie, very inspiring. Read your blog during my morning coffee. A great way to start the day.
    Your friend from High School,
    Len Salazar.

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