Gone are the days when all we had to do to end a relationship was say goodbye. Nowadays, we still cling on to the people in our lives that we should have gotten rid of a long time ago. Whether it's a romantic relationship or a friend, we feel the need to keep them on our social media radar. But why?
You break up and it's over, right? You don't want that person in your life anymore because they're just not your person.
Social media has made it harder to cut ties to these people. Back in the day -- and by 'day' I mean 15 years or so before MySpace and Facebook, all you had to do was stop calling or texting. Now we have to do that plus "unfriend" and "unfollow" the person from every social media platform we are connected to them in. Our lives are so intertwined technologically that it's no longer as simple as a goodbye.
I have to argue that deleting someone from social media is now the hardest stage of the relationship breakdown. While we've stopped communicating over phone or text and stopped socialising with these people, we may not have necessarily cut them out of our lives completely. Is it because we still feel we have some control of the relationship after it has ended? Or does it mean that there is a part of that relationship you're hanging on to? Have you reconsidered? If it's over it's over, right?
Relationship dynamics have changed a lot due to social media, as has the dynamic of ending the relationship. And there are possibly a few reasons you still haven't hit that "unfriend" button.
We've all done it. You know the time you've Facebook stalked them, still telling yourself that the relationship has ended but in reality it hasn't because you haven't really weened off them completely. However, studies show that stalking your ex can actually contribute to feelings of anxiety and jealousy. Let's face it -- there's possibly also that small part of you that has this small glimmer of hope that they are regretting their decision and may want to reconcile, and deleting them would mean a complete disconnect and finale to the relationship.
If it's a romantic break-up, then there are a few good reasons to unfriend your ex.
You won't be tempted to message them or post something you might regret in the morning after you've had a few the night before.
"Out of sight, out of mind." It's an old saying but it does actually work. And here's the kicker... you'll feel free. By this I mean no checking or seeing their feed, no race to the finish line to see who gets over who first, and if it wasn't your decision to completely break it off, you won't sit there and dwell on their posts of happy snaps that you're sure to come across.
Some of the same reasons can be also given for a friendship breakdown as well. By deleting them it means that you both don't have access to each other's social media lives. While you may "stalk" their accounts occasionally if they are not privatised -- cause hey, we all do it, you are not present in each other's space.
No matter the type of relationship, once it has ended, the only way to really be able to move on is too disconnect from that person completely. It'll be difficult to push that "unfriend" button, but you'll feel so much better once it's done.
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