For Fear of Facebook
This may be the age of information, but we don't actually need to know everything.0
As a general Facebook rule I defriend boyfriends post break-up at least until I feel free of any urge to stalk. Call it what you will – lack of self-control, masochism, psychotic behavior, extended obsession, self-destructive – but fresh off a break-up, I don’t trust that I won’t sneak a peak. I will. I have. Normally this sort of thing would shame me to write, but men and women alike stalk their exes via Facebook.
I defriended my last “boyfriend,” who ironically was never really my boyfriend – a fact that caused said break up, immediately following the first Facebook stalking incident. (I still don’t know who that blonde-haired girl with the coma shaped eyebrows is). It was a deliberate, smart decision followed by post break-up bliss and care free nights on the dance floor. So imagine my surprise a couple months later, when my brother turned to me and said, “So did you see Jay’s Facebook status says he’s in a relationship now?” Wait. What? “I’m not friends with him on Facebook!” I exclaimed and then, like the true masochist I am, made him go into his profile so I could see for myself.
What I found was much more than I bargained for. “I love you.” said a wall post from a girl with a terrible name. I clicked on his most recent photo tags for confirmation. There was a photo album of some romantic, honeymoon-esque vacation complete with lip locking and water frolicking. It was like a car accident that I could not take my eyes away from, and I paged through it several times before the computer was literally ripped from my hands. “I thought he didn’t want a girlfriend?” I cried out, tears forming in my eyes. “It’s 500 Days of Summer, and I’m the guy with the chalk headboard. I’m supposed to be summer!”
“But you are Summer, Em,” said my mom who realized what was going on and attempted damage control. “You broke up with him!”
So true, I did break up with him because 1) He didn’t get my humor and couldn’t really keep up with my wit, 2) He said he didn’t want a relationship, and while I didn’t really want a relationship either, I at least wanted to be free to fall into one should the bond develop, 3) He has a bit of a belly, and if men have a bit of a belly at 28, you can pretty much bet they will have a full-blown belly in the long run, and 4) My friends told me to. In the olden days when you broke up with someone for such strong, legit reasons, you ripped off the band aid and moved on. But today, a clean break takes more will power as the internet allows multiple outlets for viscous voyeurism.
How does one attain such will power? While defriending someone on the surface appears an immature solution, I think it is the first step. If you can’t go browsing through someone’s life, you are forced to move on without ruminating about what could have been. And people don’t put pictures of the bad times on Facebook, so the photos online aren’t necessarily a representation of a healthy relationship. Imgaine though, mid fight and your boyfriend says, “Hold on. Let’s take a pictures, so everyone browsing through our Facebook realizes that we fight quite often.” Um, no. So Facebook stalking gives you a distorted image of potentially false bliss on the part of an ex. And, like always, surrounding yourself with good friends who can analyze your mood and know when it’s a good time to tell you your ex has moved on and when it’s not. This may be the age of information, we actually don’t need to know everything.
Know something we don't? Email us
at [email protected]