To Defriend, or Not to Defriend?

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By Nicole Martin > Sophomore > Journalism and Sociology > Pennsylvania State University; Photo by AR > Sophomore > Graphic Design > UMBC
Our current generation’s dating life is much different than the dating life of our parents’, with the advances in technology and social media. With all the changes in the way we date we have acquired new rules and lingo – questions about proper “netiquette,” – for instance: should you be friends with an ex on Facebook?



The typical breakup line “let’s be friends” is one thing that has remained throughout generations, except now it means a little more than it did before. We can now, literally, be virtual “friends” with our past lovers. This means we see constant updates – anything and everything an ex may be up to – where they are, what they’re doing, and who they are dating. Some say this has caused major roadblocks to the process of moving on from a past relationship.
“I once had an ex who wrote me a long message degrading me and putting me down saying how much of a mistake it was that I broke up with him and such,” said Marissa Guarriello, a student at Penn State University. “I deleted him as a friend after that incident.”
De-friending an ex may seem bitter, immature or unnecessary but it’s not always about revenge. Simply, breaking ties is necessary in the case that you are constantly looking at his or her page. Often, people find themselves leaving bitter statuses and wall posts after a bad breakup and that can be very unhealthy and cause more problems, like in Guarriello’s case.

“I think that if you do remain friends after a break up then it shouldn’t be an issue to remain Facebook friends,” she continued. “However, if relationship becomes threatening or … they are constantly looking at [their ex’s] page, then they should just delete them and hopefully just move on.”

You may want to see that your ex is dating some loser and have a boost of confidence that you’re doing better than him or her, but it can also be hurtful to see an ex move on to someone else.  Your whole social network doesn’t need to see the baggage of a past relationship or see you fall apart online over it.  Even if you do actually remain friends with an ex, you should allow both of yourselves the space to move on and not have a constant reminder of a failed relationship.
This advice holds true for photos, as well. Pictures and memories of an ex go hand in hand: they can remind you of good times or they can remind you of the bad.
“You should probably take down ones where you’re kissing and such, because it might make you miss them more which may make it more difficult to move on. Definitely take them down if you are dating someone else since that may cause problems in your new relationship,” said Guarriello.
Ask yourself if you really need those pictures of you and your ex on Facebook and what reason you would keep them up. If it’s to get back at him or her, it is probably best to just remove them. Try starting new! Go out and take new pictures with friends and make new memories.
Just like the old saying, “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” there are definitely plenty of people on Facebook.


College Magazine Staff

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