Breaking up is difficult any day of the year, and in a 24/7, social-media-driven world that values constant connection, mourning the end of a relationship is more complicated than ever — and none more so than around Valentine’s Day.
When you break up with a romantic partner, regardless of who initiated it, ending a relationship is an emotionally arduous process. Progressing through the stages of mourning and seeking emotional acceptance and closure after a breakup requires time, patience, self-love and letting go of old feelings. There is no question that social media and your digital presence can play a critical role in how you adapt to your new reality. Examining and adjusting your social-media practices will have a real and profound effect on your recovery.
And, while there’s no perfect way to deal with a breakup, especially around Valentine’s Day, when we are bombarded with photos all over social media of #couplesgoals, here are 4 key recommendations to help minimize the pitfalls of social-media consumption as you are mourning a breakup and help you gain closure:
Do you have to go on a “digital detox diet” in order to give yourself the space to heal after a breakup? Not necessarily. You do, however, need to take some time to examine how and why you use social media because even small changes in your social-media habits can make a big difference in how you feel. And no better time than Valentine’s Day to take a step back, take a day off from checking TikTok and Instagram, invest in yourself and give yourself the self-care you deserve.
Paula Durlofsky, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and has been a practicing therapist for 18 years. She is a member of the American Psychological Association’s Device Management and Digital Intelligence committee whose goal is to support healthy relationships with technology through intelligent engagement and modeling positive digital citizenship. She is the author of Logged In and Stressed Out: How Social Media is Affecting Your Mental Health and What You Can Do About It. For more information visit, www.drpauladurlofsky.com.