So you weren’t really dating, more like going home together after Friday night benders and complaining to each other on Gchat about the various letdowns of your 20s. But now you aren’t even talking, and you realize that you’ve become co-dependent on someone’s pervasive yet charming Internet presence and persona. Your courtship has fizzled and now all you have left is the digital trail of your expired romance.
This happens to the best of us. We are practically sitting ducks, starving for special attention while stuck at our computers all day. All of the social networking in the world is boring and played out until a dynamic person enters the scene and makes the personality data mining fun again. With so many ways to connect and make the day go by faster, it’s no wonder that you feel closer to people than you really should after some time of “not really dating”, but really, really social networking.
By now we’ve all learned techniques to get over someone who you are connected to on Facebook. One can take the dramatic route and deactivate or the path of most resistance and just completely stop looking at their profile (yes, it can be done). But what about that infectious person who you have so much in common with that you connected on essentially all fronts of the social networking sphere? It just felt so right to merge your social networking worlds. Once they aren’t on your wall, your chat, your inbox… how do you take them off your mind?
1. Delete everything. Nothing is more pathetic than reading old messages, emails or chats when you know you are not getting new contact any time soon. Stop that. Delete it all. It doesn’t matter what he or she said on Tuesday afternoon two months ago, it matters that this Tuesday you have open and closed Gmail 13 times and you have 4 candy wrappers between your keyboard and your monitor. What you are doing is harmful to your health.
2. Avoid profiles. Nothing they tweet, pin or post is going to ease your troubled heart. It will likely just further whet your appetite for the attention you are no longer getting. If you absolutely must peruse pics or posts, focus on the negative. Give a five minute stare down to the pic you always thought looked terrible – do what you can to change your mental picture of this elusive e-heartbreaker. Memorize one of their most abhorrent misspeaks and recite it to yourself when they start to take over your thoughts. “I was so blacked out last night.” Repeat 5x.
3. Step out of your mind into the World Wide Web. The computer isn’t going anywhere, but your Internet adventures can take you new places. Google that thing you’ve been curious about, ask around for new music, write the emails you’ve been meaning to send. We focus our immense access and connection on the whim of particular people. Spread your Internet wings and learn something new, even if only to be more interesting the next time you talk to this wretched rejecter.
4. Attempt a new frame of mind. This feeling of being blown off in the world of texts and tweets is silly when you really think about it. All of this communication is so flighty and casual that it’s almost unreasonable to expect it to last. We need to expect more from our communication if we want more than casual encounters with people. Maybe instead of memorizing message threads and sharing them with your friends with gleeful pride, you should memorize a phone number, give a call and have a legit conversation. Remember talking on the phone, that thing you do with your grandma sometimes? Might be fun to do with someone you like and find interesting. Call me traditional, old fashioned even. I haven’t tried it, but I think it might work.
5. Get away from your screens. Get out; string some words together at a bar or a café with your mouth instead of your fingertips. Don’t let yourself get any more awkward than you already are in this age of user interface communication. You were pretty good at talking to people in college, and you’ve had some glory moments since then. Go impress someone with a verbal one liner they thought they could only get in an exciting chat. Go be yourself IRL…in real life.