My client John (not his real name) came in and sheepishly told me "I did something I should not have done. I got on Facebook and I looked up pictures of my ex with his new partner." As you can image, these images were very painful. John spend the rest of the night wondering how his partner could move on so quickly. He went over all of the things he had done wrong in the relationship and berated himself for his flaws. Would he now be alone for the rest of his life with no hope for love or a family? This thought haunted him: he may never be happy.
We live in a very public society. People post everything on social media from what their relationship status is to pictures of what they are doing on a Friday night. It can be fun to get on a site like Facebook and connect with people without making any real effort. And when you feel lonely and vulnerable, as most people do after a break-up, social media seems like the quickest way to not feel so alone.
I can honestly say I have never had a client come in and tell me they were on Facebook after a breakup and it made them feel better about themselves. More often, John's story is common to people going through a difficult break-up. Getting on social media can be a derperate attempt to peek into the lives of an ex, but it is a link to a dead relationship. It is painful and ugly to peer in and see what is left of your relationship. It usually brings back all of the painful feelings and insecurities you are trying so hard to work through.
If you are going through a break-up, I would recommend you take a social media hiatus. Get off all social media for a couple of months. Instead, spend the time calling a friend, or meeting up with people who care about you. Real live human contact will take you forward in your search for peace in a way that social media rarely will.
If you want to read more about how to let go of broken relationships, check our my blog article for tips.