10 Social Media Mistakes You Should Avoid Post-Breakup

Your online behaviors after a breakup send a loud and clear message to the entire world about what you're going through. You might not want everyone to know you're currently suffering through the pain of heartache at this time. On the contrary, you might want everyone to know exactly what you're going through in order to receive well wishes from others who can sympathize.

Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, there are several social media mistakes you should wholeheartedly avoid after a breakup if you want to keep things all around healthy. Breakups can be super messy and dramatic. Depending on how amicable your split was, your opinions on the failed romance will continually ebb and flow throughout the healing process.

One fact you can depend on is that time heals all, which means that when enough time passes by, you'll start feeling better about things with the chance to continue using social media the same way you're used to. In the meantime, try not to make these mistakes so your online presence — and your mental health — don't suffer.

Try not to stalk your ex's social media profiles for updates

The curiosity of what your ex might be up to following your split could consume you, but you have to remember that their life is no longer your concern. Once your relationship ended, access to whatever's going on in your ex's life should have ended also. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to unfriend your ex on social media, but you should certainly avoid stalking their profiles for new updates.

If your name is constantly popping up on your ex's social media story highlights, it lets them know you're still interested in everything they've got going on, which may not be ideal if you're trying to close that romantic chapter for good. Even if you found a way to creep on their Instagram story anonymously, it may prevent you from fully moving on, slowing your healing. It may also be unhealthy to scour everything they post for small details trying to decipher whether or not they've started dating someone else just yet.

There's nothing wrong with having a bit of curiosity about your ex's new life. After all, you invested time and energy into them for however long the relationship lasted. It's totally natural to feel drawn in by their social media behaviors as you work on letting them go. But keep in mind that it's far easier to let them go if you aren't always bombarding your mind with images of your ex and their daily activities.

Don't post a cringe-worthy breakup announcement

When Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott broke up, they never publicly announced it. You don't have to, either. Your breakup is no one's business aside from your ex, your family members, and any close friends you've chosen to open up to. It was a huge fad in the early 2000s for celebrities to make announcements about their divorces and breakups. In this modern day and age, you don't have to announce your breakup on social media and to the world. 

It should take some weight off your shoulders to know that informing everyone about your newfound singleness isn't exactly a social media requirement. Instead, inform the people closest to you of what's going on so you can have thoughtful discussions about your situation with people who actually care about your well-being. Anyone you haven't directly told who cares to know your updates will reach out to you privately to inquire about your relationship status. 

From there, it will be up to you whether or not you want to divulge the details. When you post a breakup announcement online, you allow the narrative to run in whatever random direction strangers choose to take it. Realizing that the only people who know about your relationship status are people who genuinely love you should provide a sense of peace and much-needed comfort.

Don't feel pressured to post thirst traps to get back out there

Society has an unfortunate way of trying to pressure women to "get back out there" way before they're ready to take those steps. One of the ways you might be feeling pressured by society to get back out there could be by posting thirst traps, or seductive photos, on your social media pages. It's completely normal and natural to feel lonely after a breakup with a strong desire to move on with your life and show the world how good you're doing. Getting back out there with the use of thirst traps might not be the smartest route to take, though, if you aren't comfortable doing so.

Some of the ways to get back out there include downloading a dating app or two to connect with potential new partners you're attracted to. Reconnecting with any friends you might've neglected during your relationship is another option. Taking time out of your schedule to visit family members, pouring yourself into work, and shifting your attention to self-growth and personal development are a few other solid ideas.

Keep in mind there's no shame in posting thirst trap content online if that's already your cup of tea. Don't feel the need to hold back from anything you're already comfortable doing just because you're going through a breakup right now. Stay true to yourself and your social media presence, whatever that looks and feels like to you. 

Avoid any subtweeting

Subtweeting is the art of talking smack about someone in your life without actually mentioning them by name. You add enough clues and hints to your social media posts to let everyone know exactly who you're referring to. Without saying your ex's name, just about everyone who knows both of you in real life will know that you're dogging them on a public forum for the failed relationship.

Subtweeting isn't something that's only reserved for Twitter, either. Although it has the word "tweet" in it, you can also subtweet the person you're criticizing on other social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Subtweeting generally makes an impact if you and your ex share several mutual friends who will see your posts. Your subtweets will typically get back to your ex at one point or another. This is a petty and messy way to handle a breakup. Some would argue that subtweeting is one of the most immature things you can do to another person in the age of technology. 

The anger, frustration, and sadness you feel during a breakup are valid emotions. No one is telling you to hide how you feel without expressing yourself. Instead of posting some tweets that give it all away, consider venting to a close friend or family member instead. If there's too much on your chest to unload to a friend or family member, you might even consider finding a therapist to talk you through everything you're dealing with.

Don't call your ex out by name online

Just because you shouldn't subtweet doesn't mean you should use your ex's name while calling them out online, either. Defamation and slander are serious charges, and even if you're only posting truthful things, it's not honorable to tear your ex down on public forums. It might feel good for two hot seconds to trash your ex online using their name so everyone knows exactly who you're talking about, but after a while, you'll feel the effects of regret start sinking in. 

When using your ex's real name in cruel posts on social media, you open the door to online warfare. There's a chance your ex will attack you right back by posting nasty things about you for the world to see as well. When you're in a relationship with someone, the two of you learn each other's deepest and darkest secrets through shared intimacy. When you're deeply in love with someone, self-protective confidentiality between the two of you often goes out the window.

Refrain from posting messed up things about your ex because they can easily worsen the situation by returning the favor. The truth of the matter is that calling out your ex by using their real name on social media is far worse than subtweeting them with small hints about who you're talking about — especially if what you're saying is damaging to their reputation. Don't put yourself in a position to live with the guilt of ruining someone else's life.

Skip out on checking your ex's new followers, likes, and comments

Your ex might've gained seven new followers since you broke up, but it's not your job to go investigate who those people are. The like-count and comments they're receiving might be higher than before as well, but again, that's none of your business. While you were dating your ex, you might've freaked out when you noticed a couple of new followers added to their account after a night spent out with their friends. 

The old you might've gone through each and every name on their friend list trying to figure out who they added while they were out and about. Now that the relationship is over, your ex has the freedom to add whomever they want on social media without your judgment. New followers, new likes, and new comments are all the norm for newly single individuals who are putting themselves out there in the dating arena. 

Odds are, your ex could be adding new potential partners from dating apps or social settings to their friend list as we speak. Don't let their social media behavior mess with your head, though. Don't waste any of your time checking these things. Focus on yourself and what's to come in the future of your own exciting love life. You have the freedom to put yourself out there with new partners now, and your ex's online behavior should be the least of your worries.

Don't leave up old posts that may negatively trigger you

Just because some folks believe you should keep all your pictures up to preserve memories, you're allowed (and should) remove anything that feels triggering for you. When you're in the midst of a breakup, your emotions run rampant in many different directions. With your feelings all over the place, seeing images of yourself with your ex might not help ease any tension. 

Leaving lovey-dovey pictures with your ex on your page doesn't make it easier to move on with new partners in the future, either. Whoever comes into your life down the line probably isn't going to enjoy seeing pictures of you and your ex still lingering there. If you're not ready to fully delete all traces of your ex from your social media pages, some apps allow you to privately archive your content so you can re-share everything on your public profile if you change your mind.

Remember, you can always preserve memories with your ex in other ways that don't require social media usage at all. Consider keeping hard copies of all your favorite pictures tucked away in a box on your closet shelf. Put all your favorite pictures together in a scrapbook hidden under your bed. It's also fine to destroy all evidence of your relationship online and in real life by deleting everything and throwing all physical copies in the garbage. Everyone handles things differently when it comes to the preservation of memories after a breakup.

Refrain from oversharing the nitty gritty details

Oversharing the nitty gritty details of your breakup goes well beyond making a cringe-worthy announcement. While being vulnerable is endearing, revealing your vulnerable side during a breakup on social media may not be as helpful as you think. It opens the door for people who don't need to know your business to take screenshots of your posts and talk about your situation in a way you'll no longer have authority over.

Instead, it's best to save the details of your breakup for private conversations with your loved ones and friends. This same rule applies when it comes to posting quotes and memes. There are tons of relatable quotes and memes you likely resonate with that focus on heartache. Still, it might be best to refrain from sharing those quotes and memes on your social media profiles for other people to see and gossip about. As tempted as you might be to vent about what you're feeling using social media as an outlet, it provides others with ample opportunity to know your personal business.

When you're in the middle of a breakup, dealing with criticism from others is the last thing you need. Feeling weighed down by such negativity will only make you feel worse. It's uncomfortable to accept that there are plenty of people lurking on your social media profiles waiting to see things crumble for you. Don't give people the chance to celebrate your temporary downfall.

Don't keep your ex on your friend list if it's harming your mental health

It doesn't matter how dramatic or amicable your breakup was. If seeing your ex on your social media feed is harming your mental health, you have every right to remove them. Muting them is one option, but unfriending or fully blocking them is also totally acceptable. Don't worry about how this may make them feel — right now, your focus is on you and you alone. Doing whatever it takes to protect your peace is most important.

Plus, if your breakup was super dramatic and crazy, mastering the no-contact rule and deleting your ex from your friend list probably doesn't sound like a terrible idea. It might be more difficult for you if the breakup was super peaceful, calm, and amicable. 

There might not have been a huge blowup fight, obvious infidelity, or abusive toxicity drawing your relationship to a close. If the breakup wasn't that bad, then keeping your ex on your friend list might feel like the more natural thing to do. Still, your mental health should be your top priority. It's perfectly fine if you need to unfriend your ex for a while until you feel better about the breakup as a whole. You can always add your ex back a few months down the line after you've had the chance to move on.

Don't force yourself to post if you'd rather go ghost for a while

The pressure to continue posting on social media as if "all is well" in your world probably sounds a bit overwhelming — especially if you're far from feeling well. If you need to go ghost for a while, allow yourself to reset and unwind by going on a social media detox until you feel more healed.

This is especially important to consider if you're somewhat of a social media influencer or you're the type of person who's always keeping your followers in the loop with your day-to-day activities. Just because you have a pattern of updating your followers with everything you do every few hours doesn't mean you need to hold yourself to that same exact standard while going through a breakup. 

Your followers will certainly understand if you have to go ghost for a while without posting any content at all. Social media can make heartbreak worse if you get caught comparing your newfound singleness to the happy relationships you see between other people online. Social media can also be a dark reminder of where you're at in life if you don't love your current progression. Do yourself (and your mental health) a favor and indulge in a social media break. If you do, it may have a positive impact on your healing process.