Breaking Up In The Digital Age

digital dating-01Illustration by Brittany Isdith

Everyone knows that breaking up sucks. It is actually the shittiest thing in the world (and yes, that includes world hunger and the California drought so don't ask).

However, rumor has it the dreadful act of ending a relationship has actually become harder over the years. Before the days of the Internet, let alone social media, you could simply drop out of someone's life and not have to be reminded of them every time you post pictures proving how "amazing" your night was. The reality is, we’re forever bound to wallow anytime we open our phones.

That being said, here are the worst things that accompany breaking up in the digital age:

  1. Unfollowing or unfriending on social media. If you're choosing to basically cut someone out of your digital life, shit is basically over. While unfriending someone on Facebook or unfollowing them on Instagram might give you the feeling of a clean break, you better be sure that's what you really want because you and your ex-lover are donezo. The first breakup is when the two of you actually break up. The second is when you unfollow them on Instagram. A moment of silence please.
  2. Even if you do unfollow them, it doesn't matter. Even after you’ve unfollowed them on every social media platform, they’re still going to pop up on your newsfeed. Whether one of your mutual friends shared something to their timeline or some rando retweeted them, they’re bound to inch their way back onto your screen. Not to get all nihilist on you, but nothing matters.
  3. Snapchat after a breakup is arguably the worst social media trend for romance. While Snapchat can be an awesome way to prove to your friends back home that you have a social life at school, after a breakup it can be detrimental to a person’s psyche. It is so easy to look at an ex’s story and think, “they’re having fun without me. Dear god, will I ever be loved again?” It gets even worse when they open a snap from you and then never respond. It's like, "Hey guy, we have been inside each other before, could you do me the favor of responding to my hella cute selfie?"
  4. You become the ultimate stalker. Don’t even try to pretend you haven't fallen victim to this issue at least once in your life. It is so easy to get sucked into your screen while going through an ex’s Instagram or tweets. Before you know it you're 58 weeks deep and scrolling with the precision of an old time jewel thief.
  5. You hate anyone that associates with them online. Anytime they post a picture with another person you automatically assume they’re fucking. It could be their grandmother for god’s sake—everyone is the enemy. You’ve built up this glam life that they’re living without you and you’re officially jumping to insane conclusions. It could be a picture of them with someone who is a relative of Golem and you’d go to a deep dark place of questioning your roommates. “Is she prettier than me?” Put the laptop down.
  6. Never forget, stalking is (usually) a two-way street. You have no way of knowing if your ex is acting just as crazy as you. If you think you’re the only one acting crazy, it will most likely drive you even further over the edge. No one has their shit together that much that they wouldn’t occasionally take a walk down stalker street.

People love to complain about millennial habits, their doodads and gadgets but at least when they got broken up with they didn’t have to watch them shotgun a beer and then make out with the girl behind them via snap story. All I'm saying is, as far as breakups go, sometimes less (technology) is more. Easier said than done… right?