Lilian Min
May 07, 2015 8:24 am

They were the tweets heard around the world, or at least retweeted and faved hundreds of thousands of times: ex-One Direction member Zayn Malik and current One Direction member Louis Tomlinson feuded on Twitter, and revealed that the break between Malik and the band might not be as amicable as it’d initially seemed.

The instigating post: Producer Naughty Boy tweeted out a photo of him and Malik hanging out. The two are reportedly working on Malik’s solo debut.

The subtweet: Tomlinson, who’s called out Naughty Boy before in the name of protecting sensitive fans still reeling from Zayn’s exit.

The clap back: Malik definitively burns the bridge between the two; there go our dreams of an original member 1D reunion tour.

Say it ain’t so, guys! We love 1D (all members — past and present!) and we really, really hope this feud is just the result of a misunderstanding and that Zayn and Louis will make up and be BFFs once again. In meantime, though, there’s a lot we can learn from the social media blowup, even for those of us who aren’t famous boybanders.

While both boys are operating on with a much larger audience than most teens, the advent of social media makes any sort of breakup doubly precarious: You have easy access to what the other person’s doing, and you also have the ability to air out some seriously personal dirty laundry. Louis and Zayn seemed to be on okay terms during the initial split, but what was surely a heat-of-the-moment tweet has snowballed into a very public spat.

How then does one navigate the tricky waters of the friend breakup in this oversharing, super connected world? If you have an iron will, you could totally stay away from the Internet forever (good luck with that), but for the rest of us, these tips will help you keep your cool, no matter how much fun your ex-whatever seems to be having:

Take a ten-minute break between posting comments referencing your ex.

Your knee-jerk reaction to their face, their name, their online interactions: Hate, hate, hate. But subtweeting/posting is never as subtle as you might think it is, especially when it comes to an ex-friend who’s likely watching what you’re writing as well. Take your hands off your keyboard or your phone, do some jumping jacks, and see if you still feel like writing something nasty.

Prepare yourself for reminders that your ex will be hanging out with other people, and you should too.

Yes, we know it’s super strange to see your former bestie chilling with a new crew. But you can’t blame them for wanting to get on with their life, and indiscriminately lobbing insults does nothing for you.

Keep in mind that they probably feel the same way you do.

We know, we know, they’re a heartless monster for leaving you in the dust, but if your friend was ever a compassionate human being, trust that they’re going through the same turmoil, indecision, and anger that you are. If you want space to process your feelings on your own, you’re going to have to respect their space as well.

Remove them from your social media feeds.

Blocking, unfriending, or unfollowing someone might seem like an aggressive move, but sometimes it’s better to cut to radio silence than live with constant reminders of what once was. However, you pretty much can’t go back from here, unless you make in-person amends.

Don’t spill trusted secrets. Ever.

It’s petty, rude, and puts you in the “villain” position. If they’re the one lobbing your secrets at you, then they’re a terrible person and all bets are off try reaching out to them. If they are unapologetic about their actions, then it might be time to bring in the heavy reinforcements: Parents.

(Images via here and here.)