How the Breakup Generation has Mastered Breaking Up on Social Media

Goodbye spelled out in tile form

If there’s one thing that my generation knows how to do exceptionally well, it’s breaking up in public. Well, OK, not exactly “in public,” but on social media — we’re the kings and queens of seamlessly transitioning our profiles from “single” to “in a relationship,” and we know how to “delete” our exs from our lives at the click of a button. We’ve made the social media breakup “a thing.”

I have mixed feelings about this, honestly. I’ve been single and in a relationship off and on since I was 16. Sometimes I react to breaking up by deleting all traces of my ex in one tear-filled, wine-induced swoop. I make his family members, friends, annnnnd all of our shared photos go bye-bye. Then, sometimes, I’m like, “hey! We can still be friends – whatevs,” and I keep our digital footprints around.

One thing is certain, though. Regardless of me keeping my ex’s digital life in plain view, I always — always — am more active on social media when I’m single.

Apparently, I’m not the only one exhibiting this type of behavior. Recently, the Atlantic reported that newly single people have a propensity to post more updates in order to look like they’re doing great — scratch that, marvelous, darling — post breakup.

Here’s a bit of data to back that up, via the Atlantic:

“Facebook released data earlier this year that said when people switch their status from indicating any type of relationship to “single,” they immediately swoop into a transient 225 percent increase in the volume of interactions on the site. In those days and weeks (months?) after a relationship ends, it’s also true that the theatrics of our social-media caricatures bend toward an audience of one.”

Then there’s the whole concept of “winning a breakup.” You know, making sure you post just enough photos to your accounts that show you are having a total ball, and not giving a single care about that one person you used to share a bed with.

I don’t know… I’ve never “won” a breakup. I’ve just been through them. And if I look through the history of my photos I tend to post when single vs. in a relationship, not much changes. (AKA I still post 90 percent beagle pics.) So, there’s that.

Related on EcoSalon

7 Steps to Getting Over a Breakup (That’s Totally Your Fault)

20 Hilariously Horrible Reasons to Break Up with Someone

10 Songs to Listen to Post Breakup

Image: woodleywonderworks

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.