Emma Barlow | Contributing Writer | Monday, 19 January 2015

How To Get Over Someone, Now We’re All Hooked On Social Media

The Debrief: cause we've all spent hours glued to our ex's social feeds

In the aftermath of a break-up there is often a weird tendency to emotionally torture yourself, especially if you were the one who was, well... dumped. In the good old days, this kind of torture would peak with a night spent sobbing over the six photographs of you together, or perhaps with a bit of drunken dialling after too many 2-4-1 mojitos at All Bar One. Because even though you might have spent literally whole days wondering what your ex was up to, you weren't likely to actually find out. How could you? 

Now, if you’re a social media addict (and even if your levels of social media use are completley average), and so is he, you can find out what your ex is doing instantaneously. Their regular updates on Facebook and Twitter can be too tempting to ignore. Of course, with Instagram you can torture yourself with pictures as well as words. And what do pictures do? Well, they speak a thousand words and usually those words are 'I AM SO OVER YOU' over and over again.

Trust me, I've been there. My ex innocently mentioning his 'new girl' in a tweet recenly sent me in to inevitable but bonkers background checks on her - as if I was in some form of social media Olivia Pope. You know the routine. You click through to her profile, then on to her friends, her work collegues, and her family. Desperately hunting for signs of how long it had been going on, and for pictures of her in an unfortunate disposition. And then you feel awful, like a weird stalker, whose been entirely unsisterly. 

Is it healthy? Well, no. Definitely not. In fact, this sort of sneaky social media will only make things harder in the long run. But is it natural. Entirely. So speaking from experience I’ve rounded up some essential steps to help you get over your over-sharing ex…

Click Unfollow

OK, so this is obvious but when your heart is aching and you’re missing someone, unfollowing them on social media can seem like the hardest thing in the world. Also, you might still be hoping they will change their mind and unfriending can seem a bit final. However, if you want to move on, you definitely should do this right away. You can always add them again as and when you feel ready to be friends. A good friend of mine saw on New Year's Day that her ex-boyfriend had posted a belfie of his new GF on instagram followed by a message of love for her, in place of pics that used to be of her. Of course her bum was perfect. And so she cried until about the 4th. A great way to start the year. 

Take a break

If you seriously think you’re unable to do the unfollowing thing – or perhaps you have but you still find yourself idly tapping in their Twitter name 30 times a day –  then perhaps you should consider taking a break from social media all together. Tell everyone you’re having a social media detox (no, seriously, people do call it that) and ban yourself from logging in for a few weeks. Or failing that try to limit yourself to checking only logging in certain hours of the day. And certain times. This will prevent that daily manic scrolling. There was one time I found out a guy I was seeing was on a date with someone else… In real time, thanks to him  'checking in' on Facebook. And so I could follow their whole liaison of their date from the trip to the museum all the way to post-dinner cocktails. I mean really - who even uses the checking in function anyway? Apart from him. He uses it All. The. Time. 

Read More: The Five Types Of Exes We've All Definitely Had

Have a bedroom ban

Electronic devices are already turning us into a bunch of insomniacs. Add to that the anguish caused by scrolling through each and every one of your ex's 165 profile pictures and you're basically asking for a terrible night's sleep. Another friend tells me that she found out that her ex had bought a new BEAUTIFUL house three months after they broke up via Facebook – she spent a whole night, wide awake, taking virtual tours round the place. Imagining how her 'perfect' life could have been had they still been together. And the next day completely balls up an interview for a new job down to being exhausted. Leaving her in her shitty flat, with her shitty job. Instead leave the laptop/iPad/smart phone outside the bedroom at night – you could try reading one of those book things instead.  

Don’t drink and dial

Even those people who manage breakups really well can find their façade of cool in danger of crumbling after a few drinks. But if you’re in danger of drunk texting or posting a drunken and subtly coded Facebook update (read: not at all subtle - he will know your 'best night eva' is code for I'm in bed weeping gin) then there’s an app for that! Apps like the imaginatively named Drunk Message Blocker will actually ban you from posting on social media and making a doofus out of yourself. You have to enter a cut-off time when you’re sober, which seems like a faff but you might just thank yourself for it later.

Finally, distraction is key

This is possibly the most important one on the list. And the only one that ACTUALLY worked for me. Make plans, organise mate dates, start teaching yourself a new skill. Fill all your free time with something useful or fun and you’ll soon find that you are no longer worried about keeping up-to-date with your ex’s every move. You might even realise that their updates are crushingly boring – that they are boring and actually you’re better off without them anyway. Maybe you’ll even get round to finally downloading Tinder... 

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Why, When It Comes To Relationships, We Totally Need To Embrace The Age Gap

Ways To Cope If Your Wardrobe Is Split Between Two Houses

Excellent Boyfriend Uses Ryan Gosling To Make Girl Feel OK About Pooping 

Follow Emma On Twitter: @EmmaBarlow

Tags: Facebook et al, Twitter