deadflowerWhen a relationship winds down and a couple parts ways, there are emotional ramifications that extend far beyond those last goodbyes.

This generation is so digitally connected than extricating yourself from a relationship is considerably tougher than in years past. It may not be easy, but to truly erase an ex from your life you need to put an end to all manner of communication. That means no phone calls, no skype chats, no texts, (certainly no late night sexts), no facebooking, instagramming, or snapchatting. It’s just what needs to happen if you truly want a clean break.

For many couples, the physical act of breaking up is far easier than disentangling their Internet selves.

What if you fail to completely separate your online persona from your ex’s online persona? Let’s say you’re entirely broken up but you’re still friends on Facebook. This happens ALL. THE. TIME.

Can you tactfully move on without shoving your happy new life in their face? Is there an appropriate amount of time to wait before posting pictures of yourself with your new squeeze?

After a break up, the Facebook algorithm still assumes you want updates about each other’s lives. There’s no getting around the math. Pictures will show up in your newsfeed. Status updates can’t be entirely ignored.

So how do you kindly and maturely move on? Do you renounce social media entirely? Do you simply hold off on sharing news and pictures with the world? Do you un-friend your ex to protect them from the sight of you moving on without them? What’s the proper etiquette here, people??

Is there a Miss Manners for Internet break-up protocol – because there should be.

On a personal note, I hate the idea of un-friending exes. It’s like – just because you’re not dating, it doesn’t mean you hate each other. Once you’re over the initial pain of a break-up, what’s wrong with seeing a few life updates every once in a while? Let’s just be happy for each other!

But, if you DO despise each other, and suffered through a nasty break-up, does un-friending someone reveal the power they hold over you? Is it a declaration that even seeing pictures of them triggers feelings you don’t want to admit to? In this case, is inaction a better move because it suggests that you couldn’t care less about your old beau?

What’s fair? What’s right? What counts as catty and hurtful and what’s just healthy “moving-on” behavior?

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