Gina Vaynshteyn
June 15, 2016 4:20 pm
Getty Images/James Devaney

Breakups can be messy, hard things. No matter how maturely you and your boo parted ways, no matter how mutual it was, things are bound to feel shattered for awhile. So when I heard the news that Calvin Harris unfollowed his ex Taylor Swift from his social media accounts and deleted every picture he had with her (and it seems like she, too, got rid of any shred of evidence of him on her social media accounts, save for a few random photos), I understood. Because I, too, have deleted exes from my social media accounts.

I made the decision a couple years ago. I wasn’t IRL friends with them after the breakup, we never got lunch, we never met up for coffee — nothing. I was as divorced from their worlds as I possibly could be, and that’s the way I wanted. I was never one of those girls who could casually maintain a friendly relationship with her ex, because I never had that kind of skill, or desire in my bones — like ever. It honestly seemed so awkward to me, to hang out with a human person you used to have sex with on the regular, a person who probably introduced you to their parents.

NBC/Giphy

The only reason why I stayed Facebook friends with these people was so that I could keep tabs on them. What jobs did they have? Where did they live? Who were they dating? Who did they move in with?

Since I was in a relationship of my own, it felt weird sneaking up on them like this. Like, I know it’s a pretty normal, human thing we all do, since social media is so pervasive at this point — you’re probably a total weirdo if you’re NOT stalking your ex to some degree. But to me, it felt dirty, like I wasn’t privy to this information and I was a paparazzo clinging on to them. I was over the breakups, so why was I still holding on to their online profiles?

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Worse still, I sometimes wondered if THEY still held on to me in that way. I wondered if they read my work online, if they checked out my LinkedIn incognito and felt threatened by me, if they felt stupid for ~letting me go~. These thoughts were self-indulgent, and worst of all, it seemed like I was basing my self-worth on a couple guys who broke up with me a long ass time ago. And I was NOT about to feel shitty about myself because I had access to the lives of guys I used to date. Boy, bye.

I decided the only solution to these gross feelings was to delete these men from my social media apps. Completely. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. That way, I didn’t have to see the photos of his new tattoo, or a band he was seeing. No more accidental stumbling upon. Ex boyfriends of social media past, I RID THEE.

And you know what? I’ve felt *cleansed* since getting rid of these guys from my Facebook. This isn’t to say every person on planet breakup needs to also romantically detox their social media accounts — if you feel like you can be friends with your exes online and not be perpetually haunted by their digital presence, you do you. Every single person on earth handles their breakups and relationships differently — the most important thing is to do what makes you happy and whole and okay.

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