Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Facebook breakup

A friend send me a link to this article over at Huffington Post, written by a woman who "broke up" with an ex on Facebook.

If you know me, you know that Trooper and I are still friends - and that includes on Facebook  After he broke up with me, I never unfriended him. I did hide him from my feed, so I wouldn't see his face pop up when I wasn't prepared. At first I worried I might be tempted to visit his page, but I can honestly say I never was. I knew it would hurt, and I had no trouble avoiding that pain.
But the truth of that status update blackout was that I had done it to save myself from the inevitable 21st-century post-breakup tradition of weepily clicking through exes' photo albums, mining their feeds for hints of hookups or shiny new suitors and in the process, sparking all of those unanswered questions, desires to be near them again and general self-flagellation at the sorry state of things.
I agree. You need a break after a breakup. I got mine by hiding Facebook feeds, changing Foursquare settings, and muting Twitter.

I will be honest - I've never unfriended anyone on Facebook (except this one guy who annoyed me by arguing with everything). X is my Facebook is Big...along with Big's new girlfriend. Engineer is my Facebook friend - was even when things between us weren't that great. 28-Year-Old is my Facebook friend. Sparrow isn't, because he does not have a Facebook page - but both his sisters are in my friends list. I'm also still friends with a few random guys with whom I just went on a couple dates.

They're a part of my life, even the ones who remain in my past. I can't un-date, or un-know them. Why would I un-friend them?

Like it or not, social media is a part of our lives. It's bigger for some of us than others, but it's there for everyone. Even people who are not on a social network still have to deal with what others see and hear and talk about online, when it eventually spills over in to their offline world.

The first time I lost a boyfriend who was also a Facebook friend, I wondered if I should un-friend him. In the end, I decided that managing Facebook relationships is just part of a 21st century breakup. Like it or not, these guys are a part of my larger network.

If you broke up with someone you worked with, would you stop going to work? What if you dated someone who lived in your apartment building. Would you move? Of course not. You adapt. You figure out a way to deal with them, and their changing role in that part of your life.

I view facebook relationships the same way.

The article goes on to say...
...keeping in touch on Facebook nevertheless related to stagnant personal growth. The breakup sting had eased for the Facebook-friendly folks in the study, perhaps, but the moving onward and upward part hadn't happened.
So, staying Facebook friends might help mitigate the breakup sadness - but it keeps you from moving on. I definitely think there might be times when this is the case. I am sure I'll eventually meet a guy who I will have to block on Facebook; I just don't happen to think that's every breakup.

Trooper and I have started forming a friendship in "real life.". It started with texting, then hanging out. It's nice to spend time with him. We always had fun together, and I've always liked talking with him. There is the occasional awkward moment - like when a server assumes we are a couple. Is it sad for me sometimes? Yes - but mostly, it's a happy part of my life, and one for which I'm very grateful.

Sometimes, friendship happens where you least expect. Facebook is as good a place as any.