I recently broke up with my boyfriend of six months. We are in our 20s and are both active on social media. He routinely posted pictures of us on Instagram when we were together, as did I. After we broke up, I noticed he had deleted the pictures of us from all his accounts—not just Instagram but also Facebook and Twitter. It pisses me off, but should I be upset? I’ve decided not to delete any pictures of him from my accounts, because while he may no longer be a part of my life, he will always be a part of my history. But the pain of literally being deleted from someone’s life still stings. What does the Advisor have to say about post-breakup social-media etiquette? Is there even such a thing?—T.T., Chicago, Illinois
Your story makes us pine for the days when the exorcism of an ex was limited to comparatively private rituals such as burning old love letters and removing framed photos from your desk at work. Being scrubbed from someone’s virtual time line is like having your existence publicly disavowed, so it’s understandable you would feel insulted and hurt. Kudos to you for keeping evidence of your ex in your various online accounts. Such transparency is sadly lacking in the world of personal social media, where people tend to edit their lives to present a rosy, idealized picture of what’s actually going on. We all know people who share only their sunniest and beachiest moments, posting flattering selfies that show only their good side and well-composed photos of perfectly plated restaurant dishes. To go back and revise what was already an essentially revisionist record of a life seems doubly deceptive and petty. You’re right. Your ex is wrong.
This question is from the DEC 2014 issue of Playboy. To read the rest of this Advisor column, click here.
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