Facebook stalking

It’s over. You broke up. And now you have to go through the exfoliation period — you know, when you slough off each existing memento that lingers in your line of sight. Taking down pictures, bagging up his clothes, and tossing out every teddy bear, Valentine’s Day card, and Victoria’s Secret nightie he gave you in the time you were together.

But you don’t unfriend him on Facebook or unfollow him on Twitter. How else will you know if he should so happen to regret the breakup? So you swing by his page sometimes, and just for kicks, you cruise through his photos. Huh, you say to yourself. Seems like he’s getting on with his life pretty well. Vacations to tropical climates. Cozy pictures with anonymous chicks in string bikinis. And good times at the bar documented with camera phone snapshots.

That’s not what you envisioned at all. You thought he’d at least go through a little mourning period, a time when he was a little down-and-out with the post-breakup blues. But according to his recent activity on The Book, he’s making out just fine. And that can be annoying, especially if you’re wallowing in your own sorrows and self-pity following the end of a relationship. The longer y’all were together, the more invested you were in your love affair, the harder it can be to stay away from tracking his every social media move.

Thank goodness Facebook hasn’t officially implemented the feature that lets people know who’s been viewing their page and how many times someone has been on their profile, right? If and when that ever happens, Facebook stalkers will be outed faster than you can say “unfriend.” Oh, and “change security settings.”

For some of us, keeping tabs on an ex isn’t a big deal. It gives us something to laugh about with our friends — bless the genius who created the ability to copy and paste — and sometimes, not often but sometimes, we develop friendships with our used-to-bes that are genuinely and completely devoid of jealousy, provided that doesn’t bother any new guys who make come on the scene and wonder why the hell you’re still maintaining any kind of contact with your old boyfriend, cyber or otherwise.

But then there are others of us who are having a teensy bit more trouble letting it go. And Facebook will make it that much harder when you’re able to track his every wall post, snarky comment, and check-in location. Here are some signs it may be time to click that “delete” button at the bottom of the page, for your own sanity and peace of mind:  

You flip into a tizzy when he changes his relationships status. When he announces that he’s now “single,” are you going to be able to handle it? And just as importantly, will you have a meltdown when he changes it back to “in a relationship,” this time with a link to his new boo? (Honestly though, isn’t that just cheesy for unmarried couples? A public shout-out on Facebook does not maketh a real-life commitment, folks.)

You can’t resist the urge to inbox him. Don’t. you. dare. Even a wall post at this point is crossing the line, but a private, for-your-eyes-only message smacks of desperation and neediness. There’s no good reason to maintain contact anyhow but hitting him up to say “you left a pack of tube socks here — do you want me to bring them by?” is a flashing neon sign that you haven’t moved on with your life and have nothing better to do with yourself.

You “like” all of his pictures and pop up on way too many of his statuses. Even if you’re going to stalk, don’t make it public knowledge. Get in and get out without drawing any attention to yourself and by all means, resist the urge to leave your mark in any form or fashion. It’s one thing to be a Facebook stalker; it’s quite another to give yourself a reputation as one.

You get sad because he’s not sad or because he seems to be moving on. Don’t torture yourself. Breakups are hard enough when you hear through the grapevine that he’s been dating the big hooter-ed floozy from the gym without knowing for a fact that he’s dating the big hooter-ed floozy from the gym because he’s posting pics and statuses about it. Everyone heals in their own way and their own time.

Don’t slow down your own progress. Hit that delete button and move on — if you know you can’t handle it.

C’mon, admit it: have you ever “kept track of” or “checked up on” one of your exes on Facebook?

 

Image via west.m/Flickr