Saturday, 15 March 2014

Free yourself from Facebook

I have a love/hate affair with the internet. On the one hand I adore it. I'm a self-confessed Twitter addict, I'm never off Instagram and Pinterest lets me indulge my girly side perfectly. The internet is a valuable tool for me. It's how I promote my blog, how I find writing jobs and it's also where I do my banking, where I salivate over shoes I can't afford and where I look to for advice on things from cooking to parenting.


When it comes to relationships (and dating in general), I think the internet can be a strange and daunting place. I have always preferred not to put too much of that side of my life onto the net. I've never been the type to post smug lovey dovey photos on Facebook and if I wanted to tell someone that I cared about them I would definitely rather do it over a steak and a bottle of Merlot than through the power of a social media platform. Of course you can't be with someone for a long time while being an internet addict such as myself and not expect them to run into each other now and again. However, when it comes to this blog and my Twitter timeline, I tend not to say too much. I have an appreciation of how alien and personal writing about yourself can be and just because I choose to do it, does not mean that I have the right to talk about other peoples lives all over the old www.

In terms of new relationships I prefer to say very little because you never know what is going to happen. Things can move very quickly and then end just as suddenly. The last thing I would want to be is that girl who has to explain to 1400 twitter followers why she is suddenly single again. That's not to say I won't write about the highs and lows of life, love and relationships. Cause that's just what I do (and I will get that column eventually - so screw you stream of rejection letters....).

But I never name names. I never recount personal events and my writing is always about me. It's about my thoughts, my feelings and my take on situations. Nothing more, nothing less. Who said blogging was narcissitic?

The point of this post, is that my love affair with social media always dwindles when you have to deal with ex-etiquette. I've dated guys who were desperate for me to 'tell the internet' about them. Who relished the idea of my throwing their name about online and who were dying for me to tell all the two-dimensional people that I was in love. Alternatively, I've had boyfriends who weren't particularly arsed. Who found the whole 'blogging' thing slightly daunting and weird and who rarely read what I wrote (and truthfully, I preferred these ones).

But what happens when these people become ex's? Whether you were dating for a short period of time or were together for years - what's the best way to deal with it? Is there some manual? Some code on how to behave in a mature and dignified fashion without looking childish or bitter? I'm not the kind of girl who likes to torture herself. I've seen way too many friends spend way too many evenings staring at their ex-boyfriends Facebook wall with only a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a Celine Dion album for company. And I just think - what's the point? Don't get me wrong, it's never a bad thing when your ex's new bird turns out to be a little bit chubbier than you or you discover through some casual late night stalking that he got dumped on a plane or something. But as much pleasure as this brings - it's not going to help you move on is it?

And if his new girlfriend happens to look like Sienna Miller and the only plane chat is them discussing their upcoming holiday to Dubai then really, it's better just to let it go. Don't you think?

So I choose not to be reminded of stuff. I unfollow and I unfriend. Although I worry it makes me look spiteful. When I am far from that. But I just don't think social media and ex's work. That's not to say that you can't reconnect with someone at some point. If you are grown up enough to end things amicably and there's a chance that you might be friends in the future then by all means give them a poke. 

Just make sure it's of the Facebook kind yeah?


P said...

Well said girly!x

Kirsty said...

Totally. I've been in this on-off thing for more than a year now and truthfully there's been points I've wanted to shout about it all over the internet, only to be glad a matter of months later when it's invariably OFF again that I didn't. I always unfollow and unfriend too, mainly because I know I can't trust myself not to stalk people I shouldn't... It only hurts more in the long run. At the end of the day, I think the only way to get it right is to keep the other person out of your online life, and only talk about the stuff that happens inside YOUR own head. When I'm reading relationshippy blogs n stuff, that's the bit that interests me the most as well. xxx