Detangling from your ex online

November 25, 2009 at 8:00 am | Posted in Dating Stories, Dating Tips, Social Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Unfriending” may be the word of the year, but not so long ago everyone was your friend, including your spouse, former flames, grade school classmates, random business contacts, and long lost relatives. In fact, it was considered petty to remove someone from your Facebook network for any reason.

But now that social networking is becoming more engrained in our everyday lives and our identities, staying in touch with people is easier than ever and requires zero effort or communication at all — including with people you really want to forget. In that respect, technology is making it harder to move on after a break up and digital boundaries need to be redrawn.

One man admitted in an article in the New York Times Modern Love section his masochistic tendency to periodically Facebook-haunt his ex. While he was still “friends” with her despite maintaining radio silence after their clean break up, he was bothered when his grandfather decided to friend her. That fb faux pas incited a letter to his grandfather demanding to know why such a breach of electronic etiquette would occur when he couldn’t cut ties to her himself. Silly and immature, but that’s what Facebook makes us.

It seems that he was fine maintaining his technology status quo with her, but drew the line when she expanded further into his social network. But should he be friends with her at all post-breakup? While that question warrants its own debate, perhaps there’s a simpler solution for the interim: Should Facebook, for our own good, offer a cooling-off check box that temporarily hides them from our Friends list and prevents their statuses from appearing in the News feed until we really have moved on.

No doubt Facebook’s response to that enhancement request would be “grow up.” However, several articles are available to help us figure out how todetangle our exes from our digital lives.

I’m not a fan of deleting every email — they’re useful for remembering why you guys broke up in the first place. But I’m a firm believer in removing from IM and deleting contacts from phones , because watching someone log in and out every day makes to move on, and seeing your ex’s name while scanning your contact list will be a constant reminder that he or she hasn’t called.

Defriending and blocking on Facebook is a no-brainer, but it go far enough. While it prevents the other person from contacting or stalking you, you can still contact and see your ex’s comments and posts on your mutual friends page. In a perfect world there would be a way to block every instance of your ex from your world. Where’s that button? At least until you get over them.



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