Social network relationships and real world breakups

My relationship status recently went from “it’s complicated” to “single.” My torrid love life is not really the reason I’m writing this post, but is a precursor into the subject. What do you do with your ex on the social networks you both belong to?

Am I supposed to make it known that I’m on the market? I mean, isn’t that the real reason for social networking Web sites anyway – to stalk the other attractive single people? Am I supposed to remove pics of us together so other people know that I’m available?

Although the photos help me remember good times, what am I supposed to do when I meet someone while I’m out and they friend me on Facebook? I don’t really want the new interest to think I’m dating someone, but my photo albums would suggest otherwise. I don’t usually advertise my relationship status (or sexual orientation for that matter) because its really no one’s business, but how do I get the message across to the girl I just met that I’m single when she’s browsing my photo albums and sees 50 or so pics of me holding hands with the same girl?

I don’t hate my ex, so it’s not like I feel a strong desire to take the photos down. I don’t want to send the wrong message to her either. How would she react if I suddenly untagged myself in all of her photo albums? The ex might be upset that I’m trying to forget about her (we’ve had several postmortem conversations, and she continually says that she doesn’t want me to forget all the good times we had) or interpret my actions as hostile. I’m not that angry person cutting out their former fling from all the pictures in the album (admittedly, it would be funny if I Photoshopped other people into her place). At the same time, if I entered into another relationship, the new girl would probably find it awkward that I’m hanging all over some girl like a monkey on a banana. I imagine these photos would be the source of many drunken arguments and the new girl would likely talk to her friends about the insecurities this causes. That or I would be told to get over it already as I tried to not have a second breakup in as many months.

What do I do with all the mutual acquaintances that I met through my ex and will never speak to again? Do I unfriend them? They didn’t really do anything wrong. Although many of them were nice, I don’t really have any desire to strike up a conversation. As far as I’m concerned, they shouldn’t be keeping tabs on me and they really don’t need to know what I’m up to. Thankfully, no we had no mutual acquaintances prior to meeting, making going back to our regular routines much easier. I can’t imagine what would happen if mutual friends were forced to pick a side. Would I be set to limited profile view for certain people because my ex was posting messages about me?

Digitizing our lives really brings a lot of new situations that still need societal norms. So, take the pics down, untag myself or post enough new pics that these are 40 pages deep in the photo albums? You tell me.

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3 Responses to Social network relationships and real world breakups

  1. Mike says:

    Take em down. Or.. at very least untag yourself. Just like with printed pictures, most people get rid of them.

  2. Pentecost says:

    Pentecost says : I absolutely agree with this !

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Transmissible

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