Facebook Is Not Your Therapist
In truth, I didn’t want to write this. The relationship that had brought me to Los Angeles was incredibly dear to me. It was full of laughter and love and romance until one day, it wasn’t full of those things anymore. It was full of crap.
The wound is still too fresh for me to write about The Ex. If I did, I’m sure it would come out entirely biased and angry. My online dating profile would read: Short and sassy brunette seeks bitter party of one. What I will write about is how he used Facebook as a means of dealing with his emotions. Now, just to clarify, I am completely guilty of using Facebook in a way that would often times not paint me in the best light. I have, on occasion, wanted to make ex boyfriends jealous with pictures or status’ of “Look at how good I am doing without you!” I am not proud of this, but hell, I’m only human. I can, however, say that I have never posted something that would be hurtful or spiteful to someone at their core. This isn’t Mean Girls.
To tell the story accurately, I have to inform you that when The Ex and I were discussing our break-up, I was the one who wanted to work it out (mainly because I am a masochist) and he chose to break it off entirely siting the, “I hope we can be friends” line. At this time, I was brand spanking new to Los Angeles and really didn’t know anyone. One afternoon, I was having a cocktail with my cousin at a bar on La Brea and the charismatic, basketball player sized bartender asked me out. Curious as to how it would be to sit across from a man whose shoulders you barely grazed, I said yes. We started casually dating and a few times here and there we mentioned each other on Facebook. Welcome to the land of cyber space flirting.
Anyway, a few weeks after we started dating, I woke up on a Wednesday morning to three text messages and a handful of Facebook notices alerting me that The Ex had written something just cryptic enough that it may or may not be about me (it was) and he may or may not have unfriended me (he did). Here is the gist what it said:
“If you think you’re better off, then you’re probably right. Listen to your gut. It will save you tons of disappointment. Sincerely, yourself.”
My first thought was, “Did he really just write a letter to himself on Facebook?!” My second thought was, “Geez pal, at least have the balls to tag me in the post.” This was, after all, his passive aggressive way of getting under my skin, wasn’t it? He wanted me to see this. For it to ruin my day. Well congratulations Tom Cruise, mission accomplished. It DID ruin my day, but mainly it just made him look like a thirty-something man child who could work an IPhone.
This was the guy who broke up with ME. This means he no longer had a say in anything that I did with my life. If I wanted to date the entire Los Angeles Lakers roster, I could. If I wanted to marry the next vegan eating, bike riding surfer dude that came along, I could have at it. He lost the right to have any say in my life when he made it abundantly clear that we were no longer together. Furthermore, if he felt so hurt by seeing me dating other people (read: person), he should have emailed me or called me and had a discussion about it. Who in their right mind thinks that a public forum is the place to display their own emotional insecurities? The answer? Almost everyone.
I am increasingly horrified by what people deem appropriate to put on Facebook. I have seen pregnancy tests (newsflash, you just PEED on that), bloody, broken noses and copious amounts of spelling errors. I have found out about family members getting married because of massive ring pictures with the caption “I SAID YES” underneath it. Don’t even get me started on the number of times people change their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.” The truth is, it’s not really that complicated. Facebook is not your therapist. In fact, it is often extremely judgmental, bitter and kind of a jerk. If Facebook were, in fact, your therapist, she’d be out of a job and you’d be fighting with your insurance to get your co-pay back. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that social media has it’s place in society today. I am no stranger to Instagram, Facebook or the Twitter. I get it, I do. I won’t be trading in my laptop for a quill and carrier pigeon anytime soon. Although wax seals on letters seem pretty cool. At least they look cool on Game of Thrones.
Listen, all I am saying is that it is completely justifiable to recognize and express your emotions, but for goodness sakes, leave Facebook and your one thousand plus “friends” out of it. Invest in a leather bound journal. Or, you know, write a book.
Read more from Heather Lee Anderson here.
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