Social Media, Devices, and Breakups! Oh My!

It may be odd to talk about romantic breakups when our company has a cyber-security, intelligence, and personal brand reputation focus, but with the digital world we live in, there are risks involved. In order to explain how social media, and devices impact the coping and recovery of a breakup, I’m going to have to get a little bit personal.

Long story short, I was the dumpee in my most recent relationship. It was brutal and difficult. Love is a drug and everyone can be addicted to it.

I turned to my support network to help get me through things and I also turned toward the interwebs where I read through forums to understand what I was experiencing. One thing that came up more often than not was social media and devices (phones, tablets, and wearables). From my observations, people posting to these forums have difficulty with these things because of how entwined they are with their ex. They obsess over checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, to see if their ex posted something about them or what the ex is up to. It sometimes gets out of hand and turns into cyber stalking, or physical stalking. I have witnessed people in my life whose significant others have gone so far as to surveille them. It is truly terrifying for the individual and no one should have to go through it.  You can read about our tips and things to keep in mind regarding spyware/stalkerware here.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with few basic tips and a call to action.

Basic tips:

  • Unfriend/unfollow and block your ex on all social media. If that’s not enough, you may need to go to the extreme and deactivate your social media accounts. You need to distance yourself and cool off so you can look at the relationship objectively.

  • Remove their phone number from your devices.

  • Remove texts and photos of your ex from your devices and social media.

  • Change your passwords. This also means your router/wifi.

  • Make use of two factor authentication for your social media and online accounts.

  • Don’t put your ex on full blast to the public on social media.

  • Heal. Seek help from your support network.

If you’re breaking up and co-habiting:

  • Disable biometric access to your devices (e.g. facial recognition or fingerprint) and use a strong password instead. This way no one can use your face or finger print to access your devices.

  • Encrypt your devices. This should be done regardless if you’re with anyone or not. By encrypting your devices, it makes it more difficult for someone to access things from it.

If things get out of control:

If your ex starts crossing the line where you need law enforcement to intervene, document every interaction. Take screen shots of text messages/social media posts, save your emails and any audio/video recordings.

For your next relationship:

Sit with your new significant other and talk about social media before adding each other to your networks. Have a plan in place should the both of you split.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Figure out how you will deal with mutual friends on social media.

  • Is the plan to unfollow/unfriend and block each other on social media?

  • Figure out how to deal with family members.

Call to action

If you need help on strategies for dealing with social media during your break up, or your ex may be obsessing, don’t hesitate and reach out now.

If you’re moving on and starting to date, let us help you present the best online version of yourself.

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