Stop Stalking Your Ex On Social Media
Human beings are naturally curious. Nosy, even. And for many of us, there is nothing that we are quite so inquisitive about as the lives of other people.
Social media has made it easier than ever for us to give in to this nosiness. With a few taps we can go onto someone’s profile and get an impression of what they have been up to. New information enables us to make new judgements, and we become invested in what we can deduce from the information online.
In particular, there is often an overwhelming temptation to online ‘stalk’ an ex. When you are in a relationship with someone, you have a connection. Regardless of the nature in which your relationship with them ended, you will be feeling the loss (whether good or bad) of this connection.
Online, however, you will still be ‘connected’. Keeping up with your ex online is an (albeit cheap and far from substantial) way to cling on to this connection.
Thus it prevents you from moving on. In this, it stems your personal development and growth beyond the relationship and blocks your path to learning how to live independently of your ex.
It is also unhealthy for you because it allows you to constantly compare yourself to others. Perhaps you are looking at photos of their new partner, or comparing how well they seem to be coping with your own reality. Either way, this is a time and thought consuming habit which negatively impacts your self esteem.
A person’s social media profile – an often carefully curated collection of information and images – is far from an accurate depiction of their life. Looking at their page may make you feel like they are having fun and are happy all the time, whilst you yourself are struggling. This is almost certainly not the case. Social media cannot capture everything and people are only going to show off the good times. They are likely experiencing the same difficulties as you are.
Even if we do understand that social media is a carefully framed narrative and not an accurate diary, constantly checking to see what your ex up to is not a healthy habit. You need to learn to live without them, and so-called ‘stalking’ their profile weekly is not going to let you do that.
The vast quantity of information at our fingertips that social media gives us can have an almost addictive quality. When it allows us to hold onto something we have just lost, this addiction just becomes even worse. It is understandable why we would want to stalk an ex, but for our own health and happiness, we must avoid doing so.
So how can we avoid the temptation to? Of course, the best way to remove your ex from your feed is to unfollow them. However, if you and your ex want to remain friends, this is not the solution for you. Instead, hide their posts and stories from your feed, until you know that you will not be so affected by them.
Furthermore, spending time away from your phone would be no bad thing. Log off for a bit and spend time rediscovering hobbies and activities you enjoy, or being with friends. Give time back to yourself.