By Katie Funk
Remember the pre-Facebook time when a break up meant you literally would never see your ex anymore and therefore could take the space to move on? Well, Facebook has taken that era, ripped its proverbial heart out of its chest… and eaten it for dinner. In short, you have now become the arbiter of this space and no matter how tempting it is to use Facebook for its inherent ex-stalking abilities, you must resist. The following are the previously unspoken rules of Break-Up Etiquette on Facebook. If heeded properly, it will prevent you from deserving the ‘creepy, desperate ex’ status so easily achieved. Here’s the guaranteed way to avoid it:
- 1. Wait at least 24 hours to change your relationship status
I know you’re excited to publicly announce to the world that you’re single and ready to mingle, but it’s important to give it a day just in case things change. Nobody wants his or her Facebook feeds taken over by you and your significant other’s inability to make a decision. Take your friends into consideration and save them the effort of planning your single night out on the town.
- 2. Switch your profile picture
If your profile picture is currently you and your ex, be sure to change it to avoid any confusion. However, it is very important that you do NOT take Facebook revenge and Photoshop somebody else’s head onto your ex’s body in your profile picture. Or crop your ex out of all your pictures altogether. Or delete every old picture of you and your ex. Play it cool, the relationship happened, no need to erase it from history. It’s over now.
- 3. If you’ve been broken up with*:
Resist the urge to immediately spend the next few nights taking pictures with as many members of the opposite sex (or whoever floats your boat–no judgment) as possible. This effort to stick it to your ex will be completely transparent to everyone who sees the pics. Don’t forget that the longer it takes to upload those pictures, the more it will hurt.
*If you DID the breaking up: be kind, take time, don’t post your ‘best night ever’ photos just yet.
- 4. DO NOT post really depressing song lyrics/pictures/videos
Even though we at BTS Communications promote transparency in all facets of life, maybe you should think twice before posting that video of The Cure right after a breakup. The result is that nobody wants to hang out with you until you’re done with your “phase.” Like dressing for the job you want, in order to jump out of your depression as fast as possible, you must at least act like you’re not too heartbroken.
- 5. If you are friends with the broken-up couple
Loyalty is inevitably an issue when two friends break up, and the beginning of the breakup is almost always the hardest. You may be forced to take a side, but try not to do so in a public forum like Facebook. DO NOT “like” the new single relationship status and, most importantly, don’t post comments like “FINALLY!!” Take the high road on this one.
- 6. Don’t unfriend your ex or delete your Facebook
If you ever become friends again or even get back together, having to re-friend is just plain awkward. So just stay friends and try not to check his/her profile every five seconds (see #7). Don’t delete your profile either; that just screams self-pity. If necessary, have a friend change your password and take a little Facebook vacation. When you finally go back to the world of social media, the buildup of notifications and wall posts will be worth it.
- 7. For your own mental health, set a strict “NO visit to my ex’s page under ANY circumstances” policy.
There will never be anything to gain from seeing your ex on the beach drinking Sex on the Beach attempting to have sex on the beach. Just. Stay. Away. You will thank me later.
- 6 Reasons You Should Accept Your Parents Facebook Friend Request (btscommunications.wordpress.com)
- Facebook Etiquette: Photo Tagging (wordsofabrokenmirror.com)
- What are your thoughts on social media etiquette? (mushroomsouffle.wordpress.com)