THE BLOG
10/29/2014 01:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Lingering Ex: Social Media and Break-Ups

chiara cortese

Breaking up has always been hard to do and having a broken heart somehow unites generations; it's a timeless pain. What's changed the game, however, is the wrench throw of social media in the aftermath of a breakup.

I envy my grandmother in the olden days, love sick after breaking up with "the man of her dreams," lying on a pink ruffled bed in dim light, weeping and reminiscing over a box of pictures and dried flowers, while Elvis love songs blare from the record player. She calls her BFF on the rotary dial telephone, to hear that a friend of a friend saw her ex, Bobby at the drive-in with some brunette Friday night. It's the telephone game, literally. The only way she knew if her ex was dead or alive was to "hear it through the grapevine." Access to each other's lives otherwise was denied and the memories and feelings eventually faded away.

Record skip to 2014. Rest in peace the "Out of sight, out of mind" antidote of the past. Technology and social media have given birth to a little monster named the Lingering Ex. Today, your ex is everywhere...liking and commenting on pictures and posts in your media feeds daily. All of a sudden he or she is more alive than when you were dating them. You are one click away from knowing that they had PORK CHOPS for dinner last night. Ugh, you always ate pork chops together. "Kill me," you think (as tear drops on iPhone). I mean it's absurd, really. You break up and now know when he or she has a sentimental moment with a cricket, is kayaking in some clearly over-filtered magical mystery lake or buys a new pair of Nikes. Wait, weren't they just a miserable lunatic 10 days ago? Now they are quoting Buddha and tweeting about self-control.

I don't care if it is a picture of a beer can, a tree, a shoe, or sailing in the Mediterranean, these intimate moments captured in a person's life can be rough while getting over someone. Our parents and grandparents never had to deal with this crap. Social media is a digital museum of a person's present life. A picture is worth a thousand words... and a thousand assumptions. These images captured make us wonder who, what, where, how, and when? And since when is your ex so "artsy?" That picture of their feet on the rocks with the waves crashing at sunset... you've never in your life hated waves and sunbeams so much.

With that being said, I've concluded: The Top Five Worst Things to See in Social Media After Breaking Up with Your Ex:

1. Their Tinder profile picture that you took. Oh, that special place and intimate moment you two shared? Now it's being used to chat online with chicks/ dudes all night long. Killer bonus: tagline with anything personal to you. Ex.) "Looking for honesty," when they lied to you for two years.

2. He/ she wearing or using anything you gave them while dating. Looking good in whatever it is adds salt to the wound. We get possessive. "I gave you that hat. I introduced you to that band," ETC.

3. He/ she all of a sudden doing something you always wanted them to do while you two were together. Oh, you're a runner now, you grew a beard and go to museums? Please. All of sudden they're more motivated to be who you wanted them to be than ever.

4. Annoying duck face chick or hot hipster dude who likes all of their posts, including the lame ones. Duck face even comments, exaggerating all words with extraaaa lettersss. So cuuuutee. Gaggg meee. "Best. Sunset. Ever. "

5. How creepy and uncool he/ she has become, liking really old posts of duck face or hipster dude. That picture they liked is from 1996 (aka 14 weeks ago)... You can't even believe you dated such a desperate stalker.

Bottom line: If my grandmother had social media in the 1950s, there is no doubt in my mind that that hot tempered Italian would have thrown her iPhone into a bubbling pot of tomato sauce by now. #TMI (Grandma, that stands for too much information).