Dating in the digital age can be a blessing and a curse. It makes meeting people easier. And when you're in a relationship, social media can be a great way to stay connected with your significant other. Whether you're sending each other silly snaps or posting cute #tbt's of your first date on Instagram, your relationship's online presence will leave behind some sort of footprint.
When you're going through a breakup, however, social media can act as a sharp reminder of someone you are trying to forget. You might not even realize it, but h aving such easy access to your ex and their cyber-life may be hindering your ability to move on.
If you're feeling stuck after a breakup, it might be time to do a digital detox so that you can stay #onthemend on and offline:
1. Block their number
This is mostly for your own sanity. When you're used to texting your ex all day, everyday, the silence from your phone post-breakup can be enough to drive you crazy. Some people even suffer from Phantom Vibration or Phantom Ringing Syndrome, which is the perception that one's mobile phone is vibrating or ringing when it isn't.
It's way easier to stop obsessively checking your phone when you've eliminated any possibility of receiving a call or text from your ex. The reality is it's not that hard to find someone's number again once you've blocked it, but it will require an extra step to call versus just a quick thumb tap. Sometimes that's all you need to realize you're about to make a mistake.
2. Delete their texts
Stop rereading those texts you sent to each other during your honeymoon phase. It doesn't help to reminisce on the good times or analyze every word sent back and forth until you're in a phone-induced coma. Additionally, deleting old texts will keep you from rereading any highly charged post-breakup messages you exchanged (sober or otherwise).
If you're hanging on to them because you don't want to delete them, just back them up somewhere else (in iCloud if you're an iPhone user) and then delete them off your phone. Having them at your fingertips isn't healthy, just like you wouldn't walk around with a handful of handwritten love letters 24/7 in the 1950's. It's not healthy!
3. Reset your keyboard
Oh, to live in the age of emojis. It's almost funny that this is a problem these days but alas, it is and we're here to help because there's nothing like an ill-timed auto correct to send you into a downward spiral.
If you don't want reminders of emoji related jokes and nicknames to pop up while you're texting, a brilliant Mender let us know you can simply reset the recently used tab on your text keyboard if you're an iPhone user.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary. And voila! Clean slate!
4. End the Snap streak
Snapchat has definitely taken cyber-stalking to a whole new level (as I recently learned the hard way). Since Snapchat allows you to add a time and geotag to pictures and videos, it's easy to get paranoid about why your ex was at a bar two cities away at 3AM on a Tuesday. Who is he with? He never stays out this late. Is that a new shirt?!
Another fun lesson I learned from having an ex on Snapchat is how heartbreaking it is to watch your "best friend" status disappear and get replaced with that stupid emoji that suggests they are snapping someone else more than you. (Um excuse me?!)
Also, deleting your ex on Snapchat will make you far less paranoid about whether or not he saw that sexy selfie you posted along with a caption that was specifically targeted at him...*Raise your hand if you're guilty.*
Avoid the drama and snap out of it!
5. Unfriend on Facebook
Sometimes, changing your relationship status back to single is not enough. Unfriend your ex on Facebook as a safety measure so you can force yourself to stop checking up on their life. If you can't bring yourself to unfriend, you can leverage Facebook's Breakup Tools, but beware that it still requires a lot of self restraint that usually doesn't exist post-breakup.
Creeping on his cyber whereabouts will not help you move on. It will only make you crazy every time he goes on a trip or checks into a fancy restaurant. Plus, there's nothing more soul-shattering than seeing your ex's relationship status change to "In A Relationship" when you're not quite ready to know.
6. Unfollow on Instagram and Twitter
Unfollow your ex's Instagram and Twitter accounts to avoid seeing reminders that they're still functional human beings without you. (Yes, I know it's hard to believe that they didn't shrivel up and die upon losing you.)
Although deleting their presence from your timeline is beneficial, it will also take extra willpower to not go out of your way to visit their profile if they're public. Stay strong and resist the urge, Menders!
7. Reward yourself for progress!
Here's a little extra tip I came up with that has actually helped me a lot. I modeled it after those reward systems that some stores have, where you get a discount after spending a certain amount of money.
1. Choose a goal item that you would like to purchase. (ex: Concert tickets, new shoes, a vacation, etc.)
2. Open your Mend app and keep track of how long it's been since your last ex contact (although this timer is meant to count the number of days since you contacted your ex, I also like to use it for the number of days I can go without cyber-stalking).
3. For every day that passes, reward yourself $1 of spending money (This doesn't have to be an actual dollar, just an amount that you can tally up) For example, 100 days without ex contact = $100.
4. If you contact your ex or check his profile, restart your timer and start your money count again (boo!)
5. Once you've reached your goal amount, treat yo-self!
This will give you a positive incentive to keep moving forward because let's face it, buying those designer boots is all the more satisfying when you know you've earned them.
We hope you guys found this guide helpful! What are your great Digital Detox tips? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.