21st Century Breakups & Divorces Are Harder With Social Media

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The Internet not only has changed the landscape of marketing and content distribution but also, obviously, our personal lives. Breakups and divorces will never be the same now that social media plays such a huge role in our lives. This brings me to a great movie that I’m ashamed to admit I finally got around to watching. While this isn’t a review of Girl on a Train, one particular scene plays right into this article’s thesis. I’m not going to give away the movie, but the main character Rachel’s difficulty in coming to terms with her ex-husband moving on is captured perfectly as she tracks his life on Facebook.

She tears up as she sees a post of her ex-husband with his new wife and their brand new baby girl. I mean, if anyone has been through a bad breakup or a divorce and you think you can handle watching Girl on a Train it’s definitely the movie to watch. It captures repeated attempts to numb the pain amid the endless swirl of old memories that circle the drain of haunting self-sabotage. No one goes into a marriage saying, “I can’t wait until I divorce you one day.” Who doesn’t go into a marriage with the best intentions?

And as much as I love social media and am pretty good at it, as I’ve been hired in the past to manage social media accounts; I still find myself missing the days when social media wasn’t around. I mean, if you think about it, what would a breakup or a divorce look like without social media or the Internet for that matter? In the pre-Internet and pre-social media days, you could get a divorce or breakup with someone and that’s it. There was no “looking them up” or snooping through social media accounts to see what they are up to or reading their blogs. You know what I mean?


The Bottom Line:

It’s much harder to go through a breakup or a divorce in the 21st century because of everyone’s digital footprint. Having said this, I have been guilty of digging, only to find that it is hurtful to one person: Me. If you are going through a separation, breakup, or divorce do yourself a HUGE favor…don’t look up your ex. If they blocked you on Facebook, don’t use someone else’s account to snoop on them. Don’t “Google” them. It’s tempting to want to see what they are up to, but trust me you don’t want to know.

The past is meant to be left in the past. There’s a road ahead and in this digital age sometimes it’s hard to see it when there are reminders of baggage you left behind. Relationships are hard enough. So is life in general. We don’t need social media to increase the challenges we face everyday. In this 21st century, moving on from a breakup or a divorce means banning yourself from looking up your past on social media.



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36 thoughts on “21st Century Breakups & Divorces Are Harder With Social Media

    jennylynnangelo said:
    March 6, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Oh dear, I am old enough to remember the days when social media or the Internet for that matter wasn’t around. Divorces or breakups are much harder to deal with these days. I do miss the days when the Internet or social media wasn’t around. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 6, 2017 at 10:36 AM

      I agree with you Jenny. Now days, generation X, Y, and now Z don’t know anything but social media and can’t imagine life without the Internet. It seems “looking up” your ex is common practice, but not wise because in the end we only hurt ourselves. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    realryangray said:
    March 6, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    With social media you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. On one hand so much business is conducted on these sights and if you’re not on them branding your products, your business, yourself then you are considered to be antiquated. It can also be a great tool for personal communication, especially when trying stay in touch with people far away. But it requires a lot of time to stay on top of all your friends’ and family members’ posts. I’m busy all day at work and then later at home that often I often don’t have the time or energy to spend hours on people’s timelines and responding to their posts. I’ve actually had people unfriend me for no other reason than I don’t post enough on my own timeline or I don’t interact with them enough on theirs. Plus, you hit the nail on the head that social media makes it far too easy to stalk people, or for them to stalk you.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 6, 2017 at 12:53 PM

      Ryan, you are dead on about social media being a necessity for businesses. Now days it’s a must! But it is way too easy to cyber stalk old flames or friends in general, just to be nosy. Social media definitely encourages us to be nosy.

      Liked by 1 person

    Erika said:
    March 6, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    That movie sounds interesting. I think advising people to stay off their ex’s page is great advice. I know a few who snoop and it doesn’t help a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 6, 2017 at 12:45 PM

      Yeah, I’ve known many to snoop and it always ends terribly. You feel much worse after you know what they are up to. In general social media sort of encourages snooping, but it also encourages self promotion, which is what we are all entitled to do. Still, I find using social media in general requires a lot of discipline otherwise it can suck up all your time. 😬

      Liked by 2 people

    Tessa said:
    March 6, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    This is so true. I find myself checking him out occasionally, but I can’t get away from him completely as we have children together. It is less now that they are all grown adults, but the grandchildren come into play. Several times a year I see him (and her) and until now I felt revulsion, but now that I have forgiven him things feel different. I find myself wanting his attention and for her to go away.

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 6, 2017 at 5:49 PM

      I get what you mean, I had 1 divorce but we didn’t have kids if we had, I think it would have been much harder. But we had dogs together, he just ended up getting a new woman and a new dog. It sucks looking back at why things fail. I am now remarried with a daughter and the same 2 dogs. Still once in a while the past creeps up and says “you should see what ‘so and so’ is up to.” I think it’s a temptation because of social media and it’s the kind of unnecessary curiosity that we should all stay clear from. Nothing can be gained by looking backwards. In your case it’s much harder when you are joined via children.

      Liked by 2 people

        Tessa said:
        March 7, 2017 at 4:32 PM

        Yes we will always be joined due to family.

        Liked by 1 person

    Daria Kill said:
    March 6, 2017 at 5:49 PM

    Yes. It’s always the person looking who gets hurt.
    Or, don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    jacquelineobyikocha said:
    March 6, 2017 at 7:15 PM

    I believe all the living it out there doesn’t help much and I’ve even witnessed social media driving wedges of separation deeper between couples. I’ve read and watched The girl on the train. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 6, 2017 at 7:18 PM

      Oh, I haven’t read the book yet but now I really want to. It’s a great movie! I bet the book is even better!!!

      Like

    stacilys said:
    March 7, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Sonyo, it’s amazing to me to think about how much social media and the internet has changed the world on a sociological level. All in very short span of time. There is no way we would be able to go back to the way, ‘things used to be’. I myself have ‘stalked’ or ‘spied’ on past relationships in FB, but nothing that was fresh or that would hurt me in any way. I think it is very dangerous to one’s well-being to be spying through social media networks. It’s like digging up a grave. It stinks and can be very ugly. Ugh.
    Great article. I’ve never seen that movie before. Maybe I should see if it’s on Netflix.
    Have a great rest of the week.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM

      Staci, you bring up a great point about digging up a grave, because that’s essentially what it is like. And you’re right social media dramatically altered the landscape of the way we communicate, distribute, and digitally virally market content today. It did happen in such a short time, that it’s mind boggling.

      You would like “Girl on a Train” it’s a fantastic movie! It’s not on Netflix yet, but you can rent it for like $1.50 at Redbox! Hope you have a great week as well!!! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 7, 2017 at 11:49 AM

        Oh great. I have never heard of Redox. I’ll have to check it out.
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 7, 2017 at 12:02 PM

        Really? There’s a Redbox at most Von’s, Ralph’s & Wal-Mart locations!

        Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 9, 2017 at 9:37 AM

        Ohhhhh, I live in Brazil. Brazil doesn’t seem to have Redbox. Even at Walmart.
        🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 9, 2017 at 9:39 AM

        Oh, yeah if you live in Brazil they don’t have it. Sorry, I thought you were in the U.S. 😋

        Liked by 1 person

        stacilys said:
        March 9, 2017 at 9:44 AM

        haha, no problem.
        🙂

        Like

    Maggie said:
    March 11, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    I definitely agree; so many aspects of life were easier before the internet. I have gone searching for friends I am no longer in contact with, and it doesn’t help me at all to read up on what’s going on in their life; it just makes letting that friendship go even harder.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 3, 2017 at 9:50 PM

      Very true…any relationship from the past is on FB or social media. It’s hard to not go searching.

      Like

    As Told by Sid said:
    May 17, 2017 at 5:52 PM

    This was a great post! The internet definitely makes it harder to let go after a bad break up, but the past is definitely meant to be kept in the past! Searching for friends, keeping up the with someone else’s life doesn’t do anything but hurt you.

    Liked by 1 person

    looktothemoon90 said:
    May 19, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Social media can be such a beast! “Digging” was such a bad habit I had for awhile when it came to my ex. I almost drove myself insane and finally I woke up one morning and was like I just need to block his page and move on. The graphic on this post is so true! 👏 great insight!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 19, 2017 at 10:34 AM

      Yeah, I totally agree. Digging only hurts us and meanwhile, they’re strutting their fabulous new life without us and with their new wife/main squeeze/etc. It sucks, even if you moved on and remarried like me. I still went digging…only to hurt myself. It is stupid. I was married once before, divorce is never easy and for me it never quite left me. The hurt is there and maybe it always will. But, I learned that I made things worse by looking at the woman he cheated on me with. He left me and our dogs and married her and now they have a new dog. It made my blood boil. Not that I want him back, just the betrayal and injustice of it all. Like trading in a piece of furniture for a new one.

      Without social media, divorces are simply just that. Divorces. Now, it’s way too easy to look backwards and snoop. I don’t do it anymore. It serves no purpose. I believe in Karma and when people do you wrong, they’ll get what’s coming to them one way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

    projectme72 said:
    May 28, 2017 at 3:29 AM

    I totally agree. The day I saw my ex husband (married for 20 years) post two weeks after our break up that he’d met the love of his life and had never been happier, together with a photograph of him and my friend, was the worst. I ‘unfriended’ him and her and allowed myself the space to move on. I don’t look him up, I have no idea what’s going on in his life, nor do I need to. GREAT POST 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 3, 2017 at 9:48 PM

      My ex-husband told me he was never on FB and that he disconnected his account. I found out that he had blocked me and made it seem like he was no longer on FB talking to other women. I found out later he married the woman he cheated on me with which happened to be his sister’s best friend. So, it’s no fun to see all that stuff play out on socia media. I learned the hard way to stay away from looking up ex’s.

      Like

    thebeforeandaftersite said:
    May 28, 2017 at 7:01 PM

    I found out about that my now-ex had bought a house with a woman he had been having an affair with while working out of state. It was all on social media and a friend alerted me to the situation. So without him ever discussing a change in our marital status, he bought a house with her in a neighboring town and luckily I found out before our kids did. Social media makes it harder on people, but the really rotten people use it to intentionally hurt others more in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 28, 2017 at 7:48 PM

      UGH! WTF! That’s terrible! Jeez…I know what you mean. My ex paraded his new wife after leaving me for her. Left me and our dog and married her and got a new dog. Social media is great for many things, but it sucks when people use it as a tool for revenge. I didn’t have kids with him, thank God…I’m sorry you had to go through that!! ❤

      Like

    myjournalispublic said:
    May 28, 2017 at 8:26 PM

    Ugh you’re so right. I feel like social media also makes it extremely hard to get into relationships (obviously this isn’t a new thought). It’s so easy to get caught up in evaluating a person’s whole life and how you could potentially fit in it based completely on 20 photos of them, which they themselves are posting to create some sort of image. This creates a ripple effect of self-evaluation which I think can be completely misconstrued due to the constant comparisons we make every day though social media. “That girl you retweet a lot, who has been to my house parties, is way prettier than me and rocks a nose ring, so now I’m going to look at her twitter and convince myself how uncool I am and how now you’ll probably never consider dating me.” Social media creates destructive internal commentary, yet at the same time provides the instant gratification we’re becoming so obsessed with.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 3, 2017 at 9:43 PM

      Definitely, I think that it’s hard for some of us to not allow social media to ruin our personal lives. Social media does play a part in how often we compare ourselves to others, for sure. Thank you for your insightful comment and for taking the time to read. 🙂

      Like

    theuphillslide said:
    June 22, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    I learned not to look. I blocked my husband. I told my children, “Don’t tell me anything unless you think it’s important. Sometimes friends told me things. They were upset for me. It’s better not to know. And now, months later? Who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      June 22, 2017 at 5:43 PM

      Yes, that’s a great attitude to have. Don’t look and you won’t get hurt. 🙂

      Like

    Sukanya Dev said:
    June 24, 2017 at 5:00 AM

    Hi, Sonyo I also decided to write an article on how Facebook affects our lifestyle. I completely agree with the points mentioned above. Social media is killing human relationships and humans are consciously accepting their fate. People show their glamorous pseudo selves on the internet which does not exist in reality. People fall for it and tend to cheat easily. It has become extremely easy to move on from relationships. They have become hollow and have no value, no depth. Do check out my article as well. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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