6 Ways to Navigate Social Media While Going Through a Breakup

A teen girl sits in the dark on her phone

Social media is fun and all, but it can make breakups a lot more complicated than they already are. Seeing pictures of your ex can feel like rubbing salt on an open wound,. Breakups come with a big set of challenges, and social media can make the whole situation even harder.

We spend hours on our phones, between texting, watching YouTube videos, and using apps. I mean, just think about how much time we spend lying in bed switching between the same three apps over and over again. One study showed that about half of teens check social media either constantly or hourly.

If you limit social media usage, or make some tweaks to the way you already use your apps, you can make your breakup feel a little less crappy. Here are some tips to do just that.

1. Unfollow or Mute Your Ex

When you’re getting over a breakup, it will help if your ex is out of sight and out of mind. If you keep seeing pictures they’re posting, it might make you think about them more than you already are.

On Instagram, you have two options: you can unfollow or mute. If you mute your ex, you will still be following them but you won’t see their posts or stories show up in your feed. The best part is they wont even get notified that you’ve muted them!

On the other hand, if you unfollow them, they might get notified if they have an app to see who unfollows them. You can also mute someone’s Snapchat with Do Not Disturb mode.

2. …or Block Them

In some cases, blocking your ex might be the best move. It may seem like you’re taking drastic measures, but really, it can be for the best, especially if your ex is harassing you or if it was a really bad breakup.

This way, neither one of you can stalk each other’s pages. Plus, then you won’t be able to message each other either, which is great because it’s rarely a good idea to text your ex!

3. Don’t Stalk Their Friends

Unfollowing, muting, or blocking your ex won’t be as effective if you still follow or look at all their friends’ pages, especially if they post a lot of pictures or stories with your ex in them.

Don’t try to play detective by looking at your ex’s friends’ feeds to see what they’re up to, or who they’re with. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Avoiding seeing your ex anywhere on social media will help you to move on more quickly.

4. Take a Social Media Break

If you’re having trouble staying away from stalking on social, even after unfollowing or blocking, then you might want to consider taking a little break from social media in general.

You don’t have to deactivate your accounts, but you can delete the apps from your phone for a few days. There are even apps you can download to block or limit social media usage — I know, it’s ironic! For example, you can lock yourself out of Instagram after 9 pm, so you can’t try to stalk while you’re lonely in bed.

5. Don’t Post About Your Breakup

It’s best to keep your breakup thoughts offline. If you want to talk about your feelings (which you should!) talk to your friends or loved ones in person and vent that way. Alternatively, you can take up journaling, which is a great way to help cope with breakups. Putting pen to paper and writing about how you’re feeling can really help calm you down.

You should definitely avoid posting anything hurtful about your ex on any social media platform. Even if you have your ex blocked, one of their friends could easily screenshot and send it to them.

6. Focus on Things IRL

Now’s the time to use your newfound extra free time to have fun and focus on other things, like hanging out with your friends! When you were in a relationship, you might’ve found yourself spending more time with your boyfriend or girlfriend than with your best friends. Now, you can really surround yourself with friends as a support network, and grow those friendships even more.

Plan some fun activities for the near future so you have something to look forward to. And if you feel like texting your ex, text one of your besties instead. You’ll also have more time to buckle down to study and up your grades, or practice your favorite sport more. The world is your oyster when you’re single!

Breakups suck, no doubt about it. But if you follow these 6 tips, you’ll be on the right track to having a smoother breakup and getting over your ex faster. Go forth and unfollow!

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