Keeping tabs: caring or creepy?

Back when I was younger, had less crows feet, and went to work hung over at least once a week, breaking up with someone was much easier than it is today.  With a simple phone call or an awkward face-to-face conversation, both individuals parted ways, likely never to see or speak to each other again.

Fast-forward about ten years to the era of the Internet (a.k.a. “Stalkernet”).  Nowadays, break-ups are taking place via text messaging, Facebook and e-mail.  As if that wasn’t classy enough, once a relationship is over, it’s not really over until at least 200 of your social networking buddies read about it on your status update, or your ex detags you in all pictures of you looking like the happy couple you once were. 

Now, back when I had a desk top computer and used ICQ messenger, break-ups still hurt as much as they do today.  However, the aftermath was a lot easier to handle.  I didn’t have to “defriend” him or his friends, or worry about who was going to defriend who first.  If I was the dumpee in the situation, I was spared tagged photos of him sucking face with his rebound girl, and a Google search would provide zero results.  It would also take approximately 5 minutes for the page to load. 

Yes, in “simpler times” a break-up was the end and while it hurt for a while, not seeing or hearing from an ex made the healing process quicker. 

However, this is not ten years ago.  And the Internet is like crack.  We need it.  But oftentimes, it either causes us more pain or leaves us wondering.

When a break-up occurs, especially in a scenario where both parties still care for each other, it’s natural to wonder how the other person is getting along.  Unfortunately, this usually leads to a lot of Facebook and Internet stalking, which leads to more tears and most likely, more heartbreak. 

Okay, so what.  You’re keeping tabs on your ex.  Big deal – you still miss him and after all, he broke up with you.  You’re just not over it yet.  But what happens when you know he’s also doing the same with you?  I’m not sure if I’m flattered, confused or creeped out by the fact that you can quote my Facebook status updates even though I defriended you after you BROKE MY HEART!!!

What does all this mean?  Obviously, he still cares.  But not enough to be with you.  So maybe you let him keep tabs.  Or perhaps you find some inner strength to cut all ties.  Because really, don’t lie to yourself – you type his name in the FB search box every time you log on just to see how many new friends he has. 

Quitting cold turkey may work for some smokers, and it just may be the only way to get over an ex.  I’ll let you know…

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~ by citygal on February 15, 2010.

3 Responses to “Keeping tabs: caring or creepy?”

  1. I completely agree. In both my recent breakups, the online “aftermath” has been one of the hardest parts. You used to be able to go through a breakup privately and not have your ex’s actions so readily available. The internet, as you said, has changed this. I think it is dangerous and I de-friended both my exs to prevent me from getting updates of them and their new women. I would become obsessive about it and it was so unhealthy.

    It’s interesting to know your ex is still keeping tabs. I dunno what that is about but I hope you find a solution that works for you!

  2. I love that our version of “simpler times” still involves the internet…whereas for our parents it was pen and paper!!!! Can you imagine it? There would be no way to find out if you’d been untagged (unless you upped the ante and broke into their houses) and no way to know if you’d be defriended (unless you straight out asked them!!)…oh for the easier times!!

    I’m confused by the ex!!

  3. the only solution is to ask your significant other from the beginning to keep your relationship off-line. if you don’t and/or if they can’t agree to this and you keep seeing them anyway, then prepare to suffer the consequences if you two or three+ (i read about you polyamorous kids these days) should break up. 1 time of this happening should be enough to make people learn their lesson. just because giving up one’s privacy is al a mode (the SATs are next week), doesn’t mean that YOU have to. post those pictures once he puts a ring on it…or is that saying soo 2008?

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