Social media breakup etiquette: To keep following or unfollow?

Gone are the days when breaking up used to be a personal matter. With social media today, the remnants of a past relationship remain on your feed and that of your ex’s too. Here is a sample of the outcomes of a online survey:

To follow or unfollow?

Majority agree that the decision to unfollow, block and unfriend largely depends on the state in which the relationship ended.

It goes without saying that if the relationship ended as a result of violence or infidelity, it is best if you block all contact with the other person.

Even in cases where the break up was amicable, it is perfectly acceptable to unfollow and unfriend an ex.

It’s better if you’re selective with how much you see of the other person by their hiding content.

Platforms like Facebook allow you to hide posts from your feed and Twitter allows you to mute them without informing your entire network of friends.

What you should not be posting

As much as you would like to use social media to vent after a break up, it is advised that you avoid using passive aggressive captions like “Never Felt Better” in the immediate days and weeks after the break up.

These captions are extremely obvious and can be annoying to your followers.

To delete or not to delete?

Taking down pictures is the old school equivalent of burning pictures. Majority of our anonymous interviewees agreed that the photos must be taken down!

Out of sight out of mind.

One interviewee said that if you made the decision to date this person, then you should own it and keep the photos.

What are your thoughts on shared photos on social media?

To Like or not to Like?

Should you choose to maintain digital ties with a former partner, the question arises: Should you like their photos, leave a comment or keep scrolling?

Our interviewees agreed that liking photos could send mixed signals. Some said that you should keep scrolling and save the like for major life moments and achievements.

What about friends and family?

Another dilemma arises after a break up: Shall I still follow their best friend on social media?

It is obvious that contact time with your ex’s family members will decrease after a break up because their loyalties lie with you ex.

Our interviewees agreed that it might be best to remove yourself from their social circles and WhatsApp groups bearing in mind this might make it even harder for you to move on and find closure.


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