The Heartbreak & Healing Through Our Home Screens
We’ve gone from the stone age to social media and not changed many of our habits along the way…but boy has the environment in which we live!
Now a web-based atmosphere exists that overlaps with a physical environment and quite often the lines get blurred between the two. There seems to be little to no separation between our internet experiences and experiences IRL. Sometimes things online can seem more real than in person interactions! For us queer folk, this means more widely available access to a like-minded community, representation, visibility and partnership.
Within the digital age there are endless possibilities sitting at the edge of our fingertips which we mostly use to show we like things.
One thing is for sure, upgraded technology has changed the landscape of love forever for QPOC. From the way we express it, find it, engage in it, share it and finish it. Now we swipe left or right to pair up with people, make a reservation for the date, rely on Siri to get us to a shared location and update our respective relationship statuses once bae claims us. But what happens when bae isn’t bae anymore?
There’s no app for picking up the pieces when things fall apart. When it comes to dating in the queer community, it seems like we have an abundance of tools to hookup but no support in the breakup arena. We live in a time, when all moments are being recorded, reposted and reported but nothing is forgotten. How do you delete people from your life and move on in a healthy way? We’re experts at linking but unplugging seems to be so foreign in today’s dating culture.
Back in the day, you gave “ex bae” a box of all the memories you no longer wanted to store in your heart. Currently, that box is computer-generated and social media is a constant loop of all your old relationship mementos we call a timeline. We traded physical boxes for inboxes and our hearts like our iClouds have little to no storage space left.
So, how do you split in a healthy way these days?
As a millennial, a hopeless romantic and self-proclaimed "walking contradiction", I have a lot of experience in this department. I wanted to share a few tips of best practice for those in need. Without handling with care, these situations can get messy!
This acronym always seemed to help me in my healing:
B. L. O. C. K.
Build your environment:
With the overhaul of content coming at us every day, sometimes we forget the power of curation. Control what you see and give yourself permission to unfollow and refollow as needed. You may have to stop the constant Instagram feed of relationship goals coming across your timeline and replace it with more folks focused on physical activity or fashion.
Look Upward & Inward:
Remember there is life outside of the apps we think we thrive in. Social media is a highlight reel and breeding ground for negativity if you start using it as a comparison for where your life should be. Think about it, people rarely post “before” pictures until they have reached the “after” point in their lives. You are not failing, because you are in a valley period. It’s okay to log off until you are in a brighter space. Welcome the chance to document your growth later.
Odds & Ends:
The small stuff becomes extremely important when you are vulnerable. Promote using your device to better your situation rather than increasing the problems. Set your lock screen on your device to a positive new quote each day or uplifting poem. This will allow you to have an optimistic connotation with the screens in your life and not just think of them as portals to pictures of you and your ex-lover.
This is going to take commitment on the part of the user to prevent error. Understand your triggers and what will foster and impede your personal growth. Deep down you know what it will take for you to disconnect.
Once you have stood in your truth and feel ready KEEP MOVING. No, not on to someone else but fall back in love with yourself. Fill your time you usually spend scrolling with activities you have always wanted to do. Like a new app on meditation (or writing an article about healing)! Remember to move on from a past to step into your future.
All endings are inevitably opportunities to start new stories. I am not going to falsify and present this as if it will be an easy guide to follow. I guarantee there will be days the wrong photo or comment at the wrong time will send you flashing back. You will long for days when we all had house phones and for spaces without Wi-Fi.
Which are limited. Trust me I checked.
However, keep in mind sometimes you must block things out to better yourself in both the organic and synthetic places we live. Setting boundaries may feel uncomfortable at first, but you are entitled to feel great in your digital and physical space. When one place becomes too much on either side give yourself permission to log out and check in with what you need in that moment. Repairing after a relationship will always need to be tailored to the individual experience. Real time is longer than your timeline and heals all things. So keep scrolling and don’t let notifications steal your joy.
Happy Healing & remember sis, block your ex, not your blessings!