It Extends the Pain
It's tough enough getting over a break-up, especially if you didn't initiate it. You sit and evaluate each moment of your relationship, wondering what you could have done differently. You question your own worth. Then you start to wonder what he's doing, who he's with, and if he's gotten over you already. Going online just puts all of that in your face when you're still hurting. Seeing his dating status change to "single," or noticing that he's removed all the pictures of you from his online album will make you crazy. Even seeing old conversations and photos on friends' pages can be painful, so stick to shopping websites and checking business emails until you've had time to heal.
It Increases Paranoia
Your ex-boyfriend tweets a few times about meeting up with friends, and there it is, a girl's name you haven't heard before. Just like that, your mind starts working, wondering if that's his new girlfriend. Then you wonder if you ever met her, and if he knew her while you two were still dating. Was something going on behind your back? It doesn't matter if it's really his cousin who's in town for the week--you've already created an entire alternate reality in your head that's got you filled with rage.
You Can Lose Your Friends
So now you're truly mad about all the things you think your ex must have been up to when you were together. That kind of paranoid thinking can also damage your friendships. If you see a few online conversations between your BFF and your ex, you start to wonder what they're saying in email or private chat. Suddenly you're imagining all kinds of plots with your friends turning against you, and your natural reaction will be to lash out. Without any proof of what's going on, you could end up damaging or even ruining the very friendships you were trying to protect. Stay away from the computer and keep yourself in the real world. Phone up your friends and see them in person. If you lose a friend because of a break-up, you'll find out their true feelings soon enough. There's no need to obsess over their every online move and drive yourself mad trying to figure it all out.
You'll Embarrass Yourself
We've all gotten into heated email exchanges, message board arguments and all-out flame wars. Someone says something that rubs you the wrong way, and suddenly it's two hours later and you're sitting in the dark typing up your fiftieth witty retort. In the cold light of day, you feel pretty silly and you're glad you use an alias for online gaming.
It's not as easy to brush off an online flame war involving your ex. If you're tweeting your hostility over a break-up where all of your friends, and possibly the entire planet can see it, that's going to be tough to live down later. Venting about personal details of your love life online is not a good idea. No matter how many locks and filters you've got going, there's a good chance you're going to make a mistake or someone is going to forward your rants to people you purposely left off the list. Remember that a lot of what is online stays there for a long time. Before you hit send on your next rage-fueled message, think of your mom, your future boyfriend or even your boss reading it. Then hit delete, log off and don't hit the social networks again until you know you can control yourself.
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