If you’re asking yourself how to get over someone, first consider your online habits. If you’re hooked on social media, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re one in a billion. Literally. Facebook recently announced its 2015 first quarter earning and the social media site now has “more than 1.44 billion monthly active users (up 13 percent year-over-year).
Of those, 1.25 billion were mobile users, an increase of 24 percent year over year.” Those numbers equate to about 936 million daily active users…and that’s only Facebook. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of online snooping of friends, and friends-of-friends, and their friends…Let’s face it, social media is a fun, easy way to keep tabs on loved ones, old classmates, colleagues, friends from the past and potential new friends for the future.
Social media when you break up with someone
But if you recently went through a breakup, and your goal is to get over your ex, then social media also happens to be a dangerously addicting way to keep an eye (or two) on your ex. And all that energy you’ll be spending thinking about what your previous partner is up to is energy you won’t be using to move forward. While it might feel good, if you’re trying to figure out how to get over someone, then social media might be your enemy, not your ally.
Let’s be clear: we’re not judging if you spent 2 hours last night studying photos of your ex during his most recent night out with friends. We’ve all been there. But we’ve learned enough to know that its not healthy, and it’s only preventing you from moving on, rather than giving you any real closure or satisfaction. Take a deep breath, put down your phone, and repeat after us: “Social media, I love you, you’re great, but we need to take a break. It’s not you, it’s me.” Here’s why you need to quit social media if you are really serious about getting over an ex.
Out of Site out of Mind
First of all, it’s impossible to forget something that you stare at all day. If you want to move on, but you simultaneously spend hours checking up on what your ex is doing, scrutinizing his every move and studying the people he is spending his time with, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Just as you need physical space so you can learn to exist without your ex, you also need digital space. Relationship therapist and author of The Breakup Bible Rachel Sussman, explains “the more social media there is, the more access you have to what your ex is doing.” Avoiding contact through social media is the only way you can actually clear your mind and focus on moving forward, not being stuck in the past.
Focus on Yourself and Your Needs
Speaking of moving forward, it’s important that you stop thinking about your happy moments as a couple and instead focus on what you need now, and what you weren’t getting from that relationship. Your attention should not be on what your ex is doing, but on what you wish he had done for you when you were together. Take this opportunity to decide what you need, what will make you happy, what you both could have done better when you were partners, and what you are looking for in a future significant other.
Don’t Cause Yourself Heartache
If you’re on your ex’s Facebook page you’ll probably see pictures of other women, of fun nights out with the people you used to hang out with, and of the person (your ex) who caused you both joy and pain. And what you will see will be taken out of context, so you’ll definitely misinterpret posts, photos, comments, likes and hashtags when you see them. Studying your ex’s social media activity will only cause you heartache, and why waste your energy and time on activities that will cause you more pain, rather than prepare you for future happiness? Dedicate time to meeting new people and spending time with friends and family members who lift you up, instead of wasting your precious time on someone who brings you down.
It’s a Part of the Healing Process
Breakups are hard for everyone. According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst, “even if [you] were the initiator of the break-up, there are likely still moments of regret and perhaps rumination as [you] begin to reminisce about the former partner.” There’s no shame in feeling loss as a relationship comes to an end, but if you want to heal so that you can form healthier, stronger relationships in the future, then you need to allow yourself to grow, not focus on painful reminders of what went wrong in your failed relationship. That’s not to say you should completely forget about your ex and all you learned from that partnership. It can be important to focus on the many ways you developed from your relationship with your ex, but chances are you won’t find that valuable information on his Facebook status.