There comes a time, probably at around 2am on a Thursday morning, when you’re covered in a pathetic mixture of Doritos and tears, unsure of whether it’s been 20 minutes or three hours, scrolling through pictures of your ex-boyfriends new love interest on Instagram that you think:
“This really would have been a whole lot easier 60 years ago.”
Do you think I want to know how many beautiful women my ex-boyfriend has added on Facebook since we broke up?
Do you think I want to know that his new girlfriend is a goddamn vegetarian? Which I believe in philosophically but practically I just can’t stop eating meat, which just makes me feel particularly bad about myself.
Do you think I want to know that she is kind-of-a-legit model and has an online modelling profile which is totally stalk-able, and is on the front page of a magazine this week wearing a dress that a) I could never afford and b) Would look like a f*cking muumuu on me? Huh? Do you think I want to have discovered all those things?
No. The answer is no.
Breakups in the world of social media are torturous in a way our ancestors could never have imagined.
Listen: Psychologist Leanne Hall and love guru Osher Gunsberg give advice to any woman whose boyfriend hides them from his social media identity. Post continues after audio.
We have been thrust into a world of unbridled access, and have to practice a style of restraint that we are not yet evolved to handle.
The new partner can become a source of unquenchable curiosity. What does she do? Is she like me? Is she more beautiful? Funnier? Smarter? Are they happier? What does she have that I didn’t?
I’ve had friends delete Facebook for months on end to avoid the dreaded search bar, or unwelcome intrusions on their news feed. To not ‘check’ a toxic and painful Facebook profile is akin to expecting an alcoholic not to reach for the bottle of vodka under the kitchen sink.
In 2016, it’s never over. It can’t be, because they never quite disappear.
In 1956, you were probably dumped by…I don’t know…a carrier pigeon. Or a message in a bottle. It probably took so long to actually receive news, that you were healed by the time it hit. And you never had to see their (stupid) face again.