Social media makes breakups way harder than they need to be, so you might want extra guidance during the aftermath.
To help you deal with social media after a breakup (especially your ex on social media), we put together this guide by reaching out to therapists, dating/relationship experts and social media experts. For their distilled wisdom look below:
At First – Go Out and Away from Social
Creating a busy social life in the real world will force you to neglect social media. Try working out more, catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while or experimenting with a new hobby. Many people spend around an hour a day on social media, which is plenty of time to do something else.
Be Considerate When Posting About These Outings
Going out more after breakups can be a good coping strategy, but be considerate if you plan on posting about your fun times. Whether it’s your intention or not, exes might think you are trying to show them how easy it was to get over them. The people in your networks may see it as disingenuous as well. One of the therapists we work with had a client who illustrated this point.
After Some Time to Heal – Restart Your Routine
People experience a grieving process after breakups…
“It’s like a death, but that person is still breathing,” said Talkspace therapist Christy Paul.
You might be tempted to curl up and stop your normal activities until the pain goes away, Paul said, but restarting your routine will make the grieving process more bearable. This applies to social media as well.
If you regularly engage in positive activities on social media such as tweeting about a topic you follow, posting landscape photos on Instagram or leaving helpful comments on friends’ posts, don’t stop. Take some time to grieve, then get back to it.
But Fight the Temptation to Check Up on Your Ex Via Social Media.
Telling someone to stop browsing their ex’s social media usually isn’t enough. They might need a gradual reduction rather than going cold turkey. Maybe start with once a day on several platforms. Then scale it down to three times a week on one platform, and so on. If anything you see upsets you, log off immediately. You can also keep a tally of how many times you check social media. Every time you add a mark, write a healthier and more productive activity next to it.
Embrace Positive People and Communities, Stay Away from the Negative
After a breakup, only spend time with positive people and communities. Don’t browse social media pages full of bitter statements about exes or sweeping statements on men and women.
Note: This tip is based on advice from Detroit-based dating coach Lisa Schmidt.