By: Will Hardison
Breakups are tough right? As a friend, victim of heartbreak, and hopeless romantic, I’ve seen relationships come and go. A singular person can go from stranger to romantic partner and then back to stranger again. Months and years worth of memories, photos, and time spent together can come crashing down. Romantic relationships are tricky to navigate and hard to maintain, but well worth the effort put in by both sides of the relationship. However, if the worst happens and you break up, how do you cope with that? If you were to ask me I would say that one has to cut their ex-lover out of their life completely.
The above question got me thinking about relationships and their correlation to social media. Do we use social media as a coping mechanism or does it make breakups harder for us? As social media pervades almost every aspect of life in the 21st century, that question becomes increasingly relevant. Social media has transcended the boundaries of its original singular purpose – social networking. It can be used as a strategic tool used for individual gain and as a mechanism of influence in the business sector. In the realm of individual gain, social media has been used to monitor the most important people in our lives, including exes.
When we constantly check the social media of those who we were involved in a romantic relationship, it can either give us the satisfaction that our ex hasn’t moved on or can negatively affect our self-esteem. In most cases, checking your ex’s social media can only harm your self-esteem and cause a longing for the past and the sense of normality that the relationship brought. So why do we constantly check up on someone who hurt us so badly? Do we need to reopen the wound that’s already there in order to get the feelings out and gone? It’s an ongoing debate that needs answering and more study on the topic.
Social media has revolutionized the dating game. With the touch of a button we can view almost everything about a person before even meeting them, and still continue to find out things about that person after things have ended. Social media has also evolved interpersonal communication. Disciplines such as Media Ecology, Digital Media Ethics, and Social Media Marketing have appeared in recent years because social media has become such an influential force in our lives. Social media permeates our relationships whether we want them to or not, and it’s something that we need to consider before we engage ourselves in. Do you think we use social media as a coping mechanism or does it make break ups even harder in the 21st century?