One of my guilty pleasures is the Stuff Mom Never Told You Podcast. On a recent episode they ask, “Can you be Friends with an Ex?”. As usual, hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin do an excellent job of examining the issues involved with said topic, including siting relevant scientific studies on the subject. Sometimes they are over the top with a feministic slant, but this particular episode is very gender neutral and fair IMHO.
During their examination of the topic the subject of cyberstalking one’s Ex on Facebook was covered. During this portion of conversation the terms “unfriending” and “blocking” were used rather loosely. Basically, my anal retentiveness has kicked in and I want to clarify how to properly avoid mind-fucking yourself by cyberstalking your Ex on Facebook.
First, let me clarify the definitions. These terms are similar to the casual Facebook user. However, if you are heartbroken and trying to get over someone, the subtle differences are important.
- Subscribe – Hey, if you choose to cyberstalk someone, at least do it right. Using subscribe, you can subscribe to a person’s feed without having to send a friend request. Depending on the person’s privacy settings, you may be able to see the same activity their friend’s would see. The definition of Unsubscribe is now obvious to you I hope.
- Unfriend – Unfriend means just that. You are no longer their friend, but their information is still available to you just like the rest of the public’s. If a mutual friend post a picture and tags your Ex in it, you will still see the picture and a tempting link to your Ex’s profile.
- Hide – Hide means you are still friends with them, but their activity stream does not appear in your News Feed.
- Block – Block means block. This is the key feature you want to use when you are trying to get an Ex out of your head. Block means your Facebook experience will not be tainted by your Ex’s random appearance.
THE BLOCK 101
In the podcast episode, Caroline describes her woeful dilemma in which she unfriends and hides her Ex, yet continues to be plagued by indirect contact through mutual friends. Caroline would not have this problem if she BLOCKED him instead of hiding and unfriending.
The block feature is really solid. After you block your Ex, what do you see? –Nothing. if your mutual friend tags your Ex in a picture, you will not see it. If you both comment on the same thread, you will not see it. If you look at your mutual friend’s profile, you will see no signs of his or her existence there. If you search your inbox, all past communications will magically disappear.
The block feature is a very well thought out and something Facebook definitely got right. If you are truly trying to move on–don’t unfriend, don’t hide, BLOCK that asshole and get them out of your life.
The Achilles’s Heel of the block, is that you can always unblock. In a weak moment it is so easy to unblock, then mindfuck yourself by looking at their profile and seeing how they have moved on while you are still drowning in misery.
The solution to this is to shame your Ex into blocking you! I call it the Reverse Facebook Block (RFBB).
Him or her blocking you is like getting all the donuts out of the house when you are on a diet. In your moment of weakness you won’t cave if the temptation is out of your reach.
The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. What you Ex really wants is for you to see how happy they are. They want to flaunt it in front of you without looking like they are flaunting. This is one of the sicker aspects of the game, and a prime example of the “all is fair in love and war” saying.
The best way to fight this is the RFBB. Have them block you! You can preemptively beat them to the indifference punch if you put the onus on THEM to block YOU. Then they are shamed into doing it. If you ever catch them unblocking you in a weak moment and cyberstalking you, you will have the gratification of busting them.
Again, these are all sick mind games. If you say you don’t play these games I am totally going to call you out…so don’t even try to go there, for in the end you will only prove that you are not self-aware.
Here is an article on How to Block Facebook Users. Block away folks. Get them out of your head and move on with your life! I hope this helps someone out there in cyberland.