New Age Break-Up Etiquette
Hell hath no fury like a recently heartbroken woman with access to social media. Bring on the slur of “subtle” song lyrics and meaningful quotes that totallyyyyy aren’t meant for your ex (come on, we’re all guilty). Really, I’m sure my friend’s “now you’re just somebody that I used to know” Facebook status has nothing to do with her recently single title.
…as I was saying, “subtle” song lyrics.
With details of our personal lives regularly exposed on Facebook, Twitter, and the like, we need to stop and ask ourselves: What’s proper break-up etiquette in the 21st century?
1. Relationship Status: As the saying goes, it’s not official unless it’s on Facebook. So when the relationship ends how soon should you update your status? Amicable or otherwise, it’s become a necessary step in the break-up process. Sadly, I’ve learned that anybody who goes from “in a relationship” to “single” or “no longer listed in a relationship” is met with a firestorm of “awww, what happened?!” and “!@#$ him!”. Regardless of whether the break-up happened a few minutes ago or a few weeks ago, these types of responses seem unavoidable.
For me, timing depends on how quickly you want to move on: so the sooner, the better. But, answering questions like the aforementioned “awww, what happened?!” is where you need to tread carefully: DO acknowledge it, DON’T give details.
2. Old Photos: Pre break-up: 2,300 tagged photos. Post break-up: 1,100 tagged photos. If you’re in a relationship, chances are Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. are saturated with pictures of you and your beau kissing, smiling, at dinner, on vacation – you get the point. But with the “single” label slapped onto your profile and sent into the Twitterverse, it only makes sense to update your photos too.
While I advise a prompt profile picture change, untagging or deleting every photo of you and your ex is an over dramatic gesture that is (for the most part) unnecessary. Though, exceptions can be made: DO delete PDA heavy photos, DON’T spend hours trying to erase him from your life.
3. Staying Friends: Okay, so the break-up was bad. Like, really, really bad. Comparable to season 6, episode 7 of Sex and the City when Berger breaks up with Carrie on a Post-it kind of bad. Even still, I don’t think it’s necessary to remove an ex from your (social) life.
Many of my friends feel the need to unfriend and unfollow their exes, with some going as far as blocking them. I for one am a believer that if you spent [insert months together here] with somebody, then there will always be something worth salvaging. Proper decorum in my books: DO stay respectful of the relationship you did have, DON’T incessantly creep his profile.