Christina Wolfgram
September 12, 2015 6:25 am

The best part about social media is that it keeps us all connected. But when it comes to hearing from an ex you’d like to avoid, the worst part about social media is that it keeps us all connected.

In ye olde days, when we were only reachable on our parents’ landlines, it took a heck of a lot more courage to contact an ex. There was the dialing, the double-checking of the phone number, and then after all that, asking to speak to so-and-so. We could recruit brothers or dads to be our pretend butlers and tell them to insist we weren’t home … ever. We could even put on a fake German accent and say, “Zees iz the wrong numburr. Pleeze nevair call back heer againz!” Always effective.

But now, an ex can stay in touch from behind a screen. It’s easier, quicker, and way less risky than a phone call. Here are some of the worst ways to hear from an ex via social media, ranked from “meh” to “ahhh!”

10. Facebook Message
If your ex is sending you a message on Facebook, it means you two are still “friends,” so it couldn’t have ended that badly, right? Despite the time stamp (I get heart palpitations just thinking about that read message time stamp), there isn’t much of an expectation to return FB messages lickity-split, so you can take your time thinking about how you want to respond. The best part? If your ex only has mean things to say, you can block them with the push of a button.

9. Retweeting
You can’t help that each and every single one of your Tweets so perfectly and hilariously sum up the human experience — your ex probably can’t resist sharing your brilliance. Even though seeing their name pop up in your notifications, might provide a bit of a mid-morning shock, retweeting is an un-intrusive way of acknowledging your Internet wit.8. #TBT Post
This can go one of two ways: Either your ex posts a throwback photo that happens to have you in it (“My whole crew #springbreak2012!”), or things get weird and your ex shares a photo of just the two of you staring lovingly into each other’s eyes (“#bestsummerofmylife”). The first is forgivable. The second is a day-ruiner.

7. Candy Crush Request
These suck no matter who is sending them. Just don’t send them. Anyone. You think we broke up and now I’m going to go out of my way to get you more lives on Candy Crush? No. Bye. I have my own app addictions to worry about.

6. G-Chat
Like it’s grandfather, AIM, G-Chat is made for conversation, so getting a mysterious “hey, what’s up?” from an ex usually entails a follow-up. A random G-Chat ambush (okay, message) can be especially nerve-wracking when received at work, which, let’s face it, is the only place any of us use G-Chat.

5. Instagram Likes
When an ex starts “hearting” virtually every selfie you post to Instagram, you have to wonder what they’re getting at. Liking photo after photo without any direct contact can seem a bit cowardly, but at least you know your ex is only seeing the very best pictures of your face. #allthefilters

4. Yelp
It’s pretty bad when you find out that not only does Yelp have private messaging, but also that you totally lose your appetite when you see your ex trying to communicate over the same app you use to find the nearest McDonald’s. On the other hand, if your ex is an avid fan of the app, you can avoid any places where they’ve “checked in” recently. That’s Yelping for a good cause.

3. Spotify
Yes, this is real. The music platform enables involuntary stalking through playlists (please do not mistake me listening to “On My Own” 50 times in a row for missing you; I just like the belting part), but also allows direct messaging. There’s no escaping weird notes from an ex — Spotify doesn’t have a way to block people. Yikes!2. Tinder
If you still live in the same area as your ex, there’s a good chance you will run into each other on a dating app. Being polite is tough: is swiping left too harsh? Will swiping right leave the wrong impression? Also, no matter how friendly you two left things, there’s always a risk that thinking about your ex hooking up with someone else can send you to the couch with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and a personal pizza (a regular pizza, just for you).

1. LinkedIn
“Professional Facebook” is already the worst social network. Seriously, what is it good for besides checking when co-workers graduated college? To make matters even worse, LinkedIn has this horrible feature where it sends you emails with people’s name as the subject. So, if your ex looks at your profile or “endorses” one of your skills, you might get an email with the subject, “[YOUR EX’S NAME HERE],” which can be pretty shocking, especially if your LinkedIn sends messages to your work address. After the heart attacks subside, to find out that this traumatizing email is an alert that your ex “endorsed your blogging skills,” is enough to make you delete your LinkedIn account forever. And maybe also quit blogging.

I’m sure this list is just the tip of the ex-berg.

(Images via Shutterstock, here, here, and here.)

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