Over on Thought Catalog, Dave Schilling gives a compelling argument in favor of waiting years to become Facebook friends after a breakup. “Everyone needs time to transcend a painful moment, be it an unexpected death, a lost job or a breakup. It’s damn near impossible to simply pretend none of it happened. If you really love someone with anything resembling sincerity, when they leave you, it’s not unlike a death.”
I must agree that it doesn’t bode well for anyone to have the power to view (or be viewed by) an ex through the Facebook lens. First of all, everyone usually looks their happiest, prettiest, most fun-addicted selves on Facebook. Generally, they don’t post pictures of themselves slaving away at their desks at work or fighting with their new girlfriend on the phone — two activities some of us might fantasize our exes are going through. You are blasted with the best version of themselves at all times — even when you (naturally) aren’t the best version of yourself all the time (because nobody is.)
And of course the second reason is that on Facebook, there is just no limit to how much information you can take in. You can read all of their updates, look at thousands of pictures, follow the music they’ve been listening to and the events they’ve been attending. Doing these things might seem tempting, but it’s like itching a mosquito bite. It feels good, but you know you shouldn’t be doing it and you’ll regret it later.
So in those ways, social media has made breaking up even harder to do. But there is a perk:
Our society has actually come up with a way to make it explicit when you don’t want to be someone’s ‘friend.’ No longer can you subtly ignore a person’s attempts at friendship. All it takes is a click of a button to understand where you fit into another individual’s affairs.
If used correctly, if used for good, social media can help us reset our relationships. Stop itching the mosquito bite! For years! Until it’s really not at all itching.
The article ends in a emotional way:
If my ex somehow reads this, understand that your friend request will remain pending for the time being. I don’t necessarily want to be your friend, because I still want to be so much more. Take that as a compliment. One day, I will learn to live inside the world you made for me.
Are there any pending requests in your Facebook account?