Does it seem like social media exists solely to stress you out and show you things that will make you sad? Facebook exists to connect the world, but connecting with your ex is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re going through a divorce or separation. Whether you’re just starting the divorce or whether it’s finalized, most people prefer to be as disconnected from their former husband or wife as possible. And Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. make that difficult to do.
You may need to break up with your ex online, similar to how you broke up with him/her in person. (But not really…) If you can handle seeing pictures of their new house, new girlfriend or boyfriend and them with all your old friends, then don’t bother. But most people need an exit strategy online to avoid the stresses of social media overload. Here are a few tips:
Avoid stalking: We all know half the point of Facebook is to stalk people, but that can really slow down your healing process. Avoid being the creepy stalker online at all costs. You may need to unfriend your ex or temporarily deactivate your accounts. Whatever it takes, do it. Studies have shown that stalking your ex online is one of the most harmful things you can do to slow down your psychological healing process.
Use social media for the right reasons: Use Facebook to connect online. That’s the point of it after all! After a divorce you will really need your friends and family– even the ones that you don’t see often. Make it a priority to use social media to reach out and connect with those people! That will give it a different purpose (than stalking) and take your mind off the potential.
Don’t post about your ex: This should go without saying. Anyone mature enough to divorce should have been mature enough to marry…. and mature enough not to post nasty things about their former spouse. Honestly, it won’t bring people to your side or make them see how awful your ex is… it will just make you seem bitter and immature. It can also cause you legal trouble. Just DON’T do it.
Change passwords: Your ex probably knows all your passwords, right? He/she probably wouldn’t stoop that low, but why take that risk?
Untag/delete photos: Constant reminds of how happy (or unhappy) the two of you were are not necessary in your life. If you can resist looking at them and they won’t bother you, then fine. But if they keep popping up or you find yourself wanting to stroll down memory lane, delete the photos. Do yourself the favor instead of torturing yourself with old memories.