Social media: Connector. Ingenious networking tool. Information database. Electronic invitation system. Friendship maintenance assistant. Passive aggressive comment forum?
As if meeting, dating, breaking up and moving on weren’t already difficult enough, modern singles now have to face the repercussions of expired relationships and their effects on every social media network thus far established. Where do I begin ranting about the irritation surrounding this?
Let me avoid diving into this without noting what everyone already knows. Social networking sites make stalking an ex as easy as baking the family-recipe pie with your mom in the kitchen. Though most sites have privacy settings in attempt to avoid real danger associated with these issues, it doesn’t take a hacker to skirt these safeguards and gain indirect access to life updates and new photos in various ways. I could go into a completely different session about how invasive this is, but now is not the time.
Stalking capability now addressed, the apparent inability for anyone using a social media outlet to maintain any level of maturity is ferociously annoying, to say the least. Whether you can come to terms with it or not, social networking is not catered to your needs, desires and hard drive alone. It’s public. Everyone you are associated with, and in some cases even people you’ve never even heard of, has access to anything you post, tweet, note, tumbl, update..you catch my drift. And if you don’t, let me put it a little simpler for you: Your shit is not private. We can see it.
In light of this fact, it goes without saying that you can expect responses and reactions, whether positive or negative, to anything significant you might have to say. For example, post a status with an intelligent quote, expect “likes.” Tweet a relevant news story, expect “retweets.” In my opinion, it’s not a difficult concept. Who knows? Maybe I’m a genius, and it’s rocket science for laymen. In any case, now we all know. So if you’re still friends with an ex or someone ex-like on a social media site, it shouldn’t be unexpected, unappreciated or too far of a stretch to see a “like” or even a comment from them, depending on how friendly you are.
Why all this babbling? To set up the situation for my chief complaint: Passive aggressiveness via social media updates. Dudes and ladies, we get it. Love hurts, love stings, all that mushy and painful shit. No one expects you to come out of anything resembling a relationship and suddenly be BFFs with your ex, especially if that something resembling a relationship was actually just two people using each other for sex before one moved across the country. Don’t say I didn’t warn you not to fall for me. If someone expects that, delete them from your “Friends” list. However, if you need a shit ton of space and you can’t bear to remember that person exists, it’s on you to take the necessary precautions to prevent unwanted exposure. If you don’t want to take the risk of receiving “likes,” “tweets,” comments, whatever from someone in your romantic past, let me solve your problems. Fucking. Delete. Them.
If you just thought to yourself, “But what if he notices we’re not ‘friends’ anymore and takes it the wrong way?” ask yourself what Katy Perry wondered on her Teenage Dream album: “Who am I living for?” If it’s your ex, get yourself committed. It should be you, and if the person whose thoughts you’re considering isn’t you, it’s time to rethink your life.
The real root of the issue is that if you have enough of a problem with this occurrence to lash out at your opponent, status updates are not the place to do it. Part of being a grown-ass adult is looking your problems in the face and telling them what’s up. Not posting an insult on a public site without having the balls to admit you’re thinking of a certain person. Need to have it out with your ex-lover? Check out this new-ish thing call a cell phone. It works in several different ways, in the form of direct calls, text messages, and even voicemails. Some more advanced phones today can even handle email capacity. Yup, that means you could draft an email spilling your guts and anger too. All of these are acceptable ways of getting closure or expressing frustration so you can move on in a healthy way, and if you’re really tactful, your balls might even drop. Text messages, phone calls, Facebook updates, emails. One of these things is not like the others. Can you spot it?
Originally published September 2, 2012 on NewYorkSocialStatus.com