As most people know, breaking up with someone isn’t easy. Apart from having to break the news (a text message won’t do!), perhaps settling for a divorce, and the physical division of shared possessions, there is the longer and harder process of disentangling your shared lives. Part of that life plays out online, with shared friends, shared photo collections, shared accounts, and other things that aren’t so easy to divide. Once separated, you may not want your Netflix account to continue to suggest reruns of Frasier, your ex’s favourite indulgence…
Two years ago, our PhD student Daniel Herron spoke with local radio 2SER about this issue on a show titled ‘How to break up online.’ Recently, in an online interview with Prof Wendy Moncur by the Australian Body+Soul website, she gives some advice for those currently experiencing the effects of having to digitally separate:
- Try not to keep up with your ex online. A little distance will help the process of getting over the relationship that once was.
- Prevent them from keeping up with you as well. Tracking apps, shared accounts, etc., may still give the other party a way to keep track of you.
Soreduce access and change passwords where possible. It may not help either of you to keep tabs on the other and may lead to future arguments. This includes limiting visibility on online profiles, including social media like Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Prevent reminders of the past to pop up at unwanted times. For example, spend a little time with the Facebook ‘On this day’ feature to disable some reminders of your past relationship.
- Finally, when posting about the breakup or the immediate period after, consider how it comes across and whether you need to announce some of the more painful parts of the breakup.
Have a look at the full article for more in-depth coverage of Wendy’s advice to those going through the process of ending a relationship and forging a new life without the no-longer-so-significant other.
If you already managed a breakup succesfully but you still have some things left to give away, make sure you check out The Museum of Broken Relationship’s visit to Melbourne in September this year!