Brace yourself for the topic of breakup social media. Don't panic though. I won't tell you to close your accounts and meditate in a field. Instead, I'm focusing on how to use social media positively after separation. Because if you take precautions, it can actually help you with this transitional (and sometimes scary) stage of your life.
Transforming how we engage on social media is not just about what we put out there but also what we allow ourselves to see and react to. Embrace the power to curate your feed, and surround yourself with inspiration, positivity, and accounts that make you smile.
It's still absolutely okay to be a social media lover. It's all about changing how we use it, both in what we share and let into our digital world.
Here's to positivity, laughter, and embracing the journey … one happy post at a time.
Change your privacy settings
If you had a public profile before, try switching to a more intimate one where only your closest friends and family can see your posts and tweets.
The first thing I did after separating from my ex was changing my privacy settings. Believe me, it's one of the healthiest things I have ever done for my social media accounts. I get to control who can see what I post online, thus, limiting any negative interaction (which we don't need).
The key to using social media positively after separation is blocking any negative or toxic interactions before they even take place.
Cull your friend/follow lists
This brings me to my second point. If you're keen on using social media positively after separation, you can try culling your friends and followers/following lists. The fewer people you have contact with, the lesser the possibility of online altercations and whatnot.
If you have plenty of followers and don't want to lose them, that's fine too. But make sure you're ready for hate comments from people who love to talk without knowing the whole story.
Naturally, you have to remove your ex from your friends list (like I did). You might need to unfriend and unfollow his family and friends, too. But this is on a case-to-case basis. If you're still on good terms with some of them, then there's no reason to sever ties.
Maybe do the odd block
Blocking someone on social media doesn't mean you're too weak to read undesirable posts. Think of it as another part of your self-care routine. Remember, self-care isn't limited to physical aspects. It also means putting your mental health above anything else.
You don't have to put up with people harassing you or saying bad things about you. You might be able to shrug them off before, but it’s different now that you’re in this critical stage of your life.
Curate your feed
So you changed the settings on who can see your posts, but be sure you also change what you see on your feed. If someone's posts or tweets keep stressing you out, you don't want them invading your daily life. Remember, this is a challenging time for you, so you should see negative posts in moderation, or else it might affect your well-being.
You don’t necessarily need to block them, clicking the “unfollow” button will do.
Instead, follow profiles that inspire you and make you laugh or smile. I had a way better social media experience after doing this. It's true what they say, nothing heals better than a dose of laughter (or a funny cat video).
Post positive, not negative
If you don't like seeing negative posts on your feed, it could be the same for others too. So set an example, share only positive stuff. If your friends see nothing but hateful vibes from you, you might end up losing them as well. I believe in the saying "You get what you give." If you radiate positivity, it will eventually come back to you.
Sometimes, when I'm upset, I also get the urge to rant or post something unpleasant online. Every time that happens, I tell myself to think before clicking. Because you'll never know how a simple post can impact someone else's life.
Further reading: Why not to plaster your divorce all over social media.
Focus on moving forward
No matter how hard you try to keep things positive, you'll come across someone or something hostile online. It's social media, after all. It could be a hateful comment or a snide remark.
The best way to deal with such negativities is to ignore them. I know it's hard. And I know you're pretty sensitive right now so you get offended by even the smallest things. But if you keep your focus on moving forward and disregard insignificant stuff, things will get better.
After separating, I spent more time at work and worked harder than anyone. I revisited my goals in life and focused on achieving them. Thinking about my future instead of dwelling on the past got me going.
Make people laugh
You don't have to force yourself to laugh if you're not ready yet. However, during my healing journey, I found out that I love making people laugh. And whenever I did, it took a lot off my chest and I felt lighter.
If you're not one to craft jokes, there are plenty of funny videos or memes online that you can share or repost. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also make someone's day.
Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
Connect with supportive people
Another thing I learned in using social media positively after separation is connecting only with supportive and optimistic people.
Not only is it uplifting but also encouraging to be around them. Stick with friends who cheer you on and support you to become a better person (not the other way around).
However, remember that friendships aren't always rainbows and tea parties. Your friends will argue and scold you for doing something stupid. But that's a good thing. Because that's how you know they're your real friends.
Engage in positive chat
You won't gain anything from exchanging unpleasant messages or comments online. The fact is, it will stress you out even more. If you want to use social media positively after separation, this is one big no-no.
Sometimes, I still get offended by derogatory comments about my previous relationship. But whenever I want to talk back, I pause for a while, take deep breaths, and tell myself it's not worth my while.
Don't go down to their level, you'll only be wasting your time.
I know, you're only human, so sometimes you can't help but wonder how he's doing. You want to know whether he's happy or miserable. No matter how difficult it is, never stalk your ex's social media.
I learned this the hard way. Trust me, nothing good ever comes out of stalking. It will open up wounds that should already be healing. It will resurface feelings that should be buried and forgotten. Stalking your ex is like Pandora's box. You'll only end up hurting yourself.
Further reading: 5 Reasons not to stalk your ex.
Avoid comparing yourself to others
One more essential factor in using social media positively after separation is avoiding comparing yourself to others. You won't be able to control what your friends post on social media. So you'll be seeing plenty of happy marriages and successful relationships.
It's easy to forget that people typically showcase only the highlights of their lives on social platforms, creating an unrealistic and potentially detrimental standard for comparison during an already vulnerable time.
Focusing on others' seemingly perfect relationships or lifestyles can undermine your self-esteem and hinder the healing process necessary after a breakup.
Embracing self-compassion and staying true to your unique journey is crucial for personal growth and building resilience during this challenging period, and constant comparisons can hinder that progress.
Know you only see part of the story
Never respond negatively to a post when you don't know the whole story. Remember, what you see on social media isn't everything. Most of what's posted online are half-truths.
My best friend received hateful comments and got misjudged for something she didn't do. What she went through was unacceptable. It can happen to you or to someone you love.
As an advocate for using social media positively after separation, I encourage you to know the truth first before posting any harsh comments online.
Limit social media time
I know that social media helps you connect with friends and family from far away. It also helps you expand your virtual network and connections. But limiting your social media usage can benefit you too.
Excessive social media use can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression, as it often exposes individuals to idealised versions of others' lives, creating unrealistic comparisons and a sense of inadequacy.
By reducing the amount of time you spend on social media, you can focus on self-reflection and personal growth, facilitating the process of moving on from your past relationship.
Prioritise real-life connections
There's nothing better than having heart-to-heart talks with a real person. Prioritise real-life connections instead of looking for online interactions. Receiving genuine advice from a loved one in person is more heartwarming than reading it through your inbox.
My favourite thing to do is have long talks with my sister over coffee. You can also find a confidant — it could be your BFF, a sibling, or even a new friend!
Further reading: 8 Best friend finder apps in Australia.
At the end of the day, how you want to deal with your social media positively after separation is up to you. What matters most is your happiness and well-being. So whatever makes you happy and helps you cope and move forward, do it.