With Valentine’s Day just behind us, love still lingers in the air. But what about when it starts to stink?
We all know how tech companies and startups are changing dating in the digital age by providing matchmaking services to connect you with your soulmate. But more recently, third parties are also offering ways to end things with your significant other, so you don’t have to.
It’s a match
In 2016, we are so used to online dating that even OkCupid seems old fashioned.
Newer apps such us Tinder, Match, Bumble, Grindr, etc. have revolutionized the way people meet. There’s even Happn, which is similar to Tinder and lets you quickly scroll to find a match, but it’s hyperlocal, showing you whom you’ve crossed paths with. The idea is if you see a cute guy or girl walking by but are in a hurry or afraid to say hi, you can find out if you’re a match without being publicly rejected.
As apps like these dominate the dating scene and have become a core part of our culture, the idea of what it means to break up is also being redefined. Breaking up is never easy, especially nowadays when so much of our lives happens on social media. Our all-connected status makes it harder than ever to truly close the book on a defunct relationship.
So, just like there are services to help you find your significant other, of course there are also online services that help you do the exact opposite—or even do it for you.
Uber for Breakups
The Breakup Shop is one of the online companies that will help set you free from a romantic relationship gone wrong. For as little as $10 you can have a text or email sent to your significant other informing him or her that you are no longer in a relationship. For more $30, if you are feeling more traditional, you can have a customized letter sent announcing the breakup.
So with these little helpers, you’d think the hardest part of the breakup was done, right? Think again. Whereas previous generations might have been left with a box full of photos, CDs, and other memories that you would lock away—or burn—once you close the book on a relationship, today your ex’s face is always just one click away.
There he or she is in your Instagram feed looking better than ever, demonstrating how awesome his or her life is and all too frequently checking in at restaurants that used to be your favorite spot. Also, let’s be honest: We’re all guilty of stalking our ex’s profile after a break up.
So, the ultimate question is: How can you distance yourself from these digital reminders without having to delete your social media accounts or throw your phone in the next river?
One answer could be Facebook’s new silence your ex feature, which comes into play when you make that overwhelming change from “In a relationship” to “single” on your profile without having to delete or block them. It also gives you the option to simply “take a break” from seeing updates about your ex.
Phew. You will see no updates from your ex in your feed, their name and photo won’t appear anymore as a suggestion when typing a new post, and they won’t pop up as a tag option in photos. You can even go one step further and prevent your ex from seeing updates that you post altogether unless you choose to tag them (like that’s ever going to happen!).
It’s not only Facebook. Today’s generations share memories all over the net and their digital devices. No wonder it can get overwhelming freeing yourself from past memories. Depending on how things ended with your ex, you may want to delete all traces of your past relationship, while others prefer to maintain at least some connection.
Bringing in the professionals
Digging into the privacy settings of all your social platforms can be quite challenging and time consuming. Luckily, there’s Caroline Sinders who calls herself a “Social Media Break Up Coordinator”.
What initially started out as a satiric art project has now evolved to a service with an actual market. Sinders will help you if you feel like you need advice on how do handle your social media channels after a break up. She will also do everything from deleting your ex’s contact information to unfollowing and unfriending your ex as well as their friends—if that’s what you want.
Credit: Caroline Sinders
Her service starts with a 21-question quiz to find out what her clients are trying to get out of their online presence and what types of social media they use. At the same time she intends to make her clients reflect on how to use their social media less and better. According to Sinders, her project aims to give people emotional advice based on a systematical approach.
So never fear, help is here. Whether cupid is on your side or not, digital tools are transforming love and heartbreak as we know it.