Ah… social media. It is the pop culture peephole through which we gaze into other lives in general, and at times, with a singular purpose.
For some, the temptation is too much when it comes to cyber-stalking an ex.
Now, you may ask, just how much peeking into another life constitutes stalking? What if you only take an occasional look – say, once every few weeks?
What if you justify your following an ex’s Instagram feed or Facebook page as a means to make sure your kids are alright?
Does that allow you to “legitimately” snoop?
Social Media? Bring it on!
Personally, I’m a fan of social media. Like most of us, I have my preferred platforms that I use in different ways at different times. And when you want to check out a potential date?
Online dating can be precarious. So a little checking to stay safe doesn’t hurt. I Google, but I tend to leave it at that.
But stalk my ex? No thank you. Unless I was worried about him spending time with a woman who had a crazy ex, or a woman who, herself, raised red flags – why would I?
I can honestly say that I have never expressly sought to view his life as represented online – not now, not three years ago, not eight years ago – not ever.
Anger, Envy, and Social Media
As far as I can tell, my ex lives a nice life and has for many years. He has a good job, plenty of money, a large circle of friends, and a second marriage that appears to make him happy. There is a nice home, there are outings, there are vacations – all of which I’m aware of, via my children.
Like millions of Americans, my past years have been something of a struggle. Vacations with my kids? Not in the budget. And part of the reason is the financial fallout from divorce and single motherhood. So why would I intentionally look at pictures or updates that would ignite resentment?
I have no idea what goes on inside that seemingly pretty life, and frankly, unless it touches my kids, it’s none of my business.
I will not put myself in a position to feel badly about my life. Why would I walk right into the social media envy trap?
Social Media Envy
I’m as subject to curiosity – and envy – as the next person. But I’m also not masochistic. I don’t look to inflict pain on myself, I don’t choose to be manipulated by imagery (and exaggeration), and the only time I catch a glimpse of my ex is if one of my kids directs me to a particular spot, where I may, inadvertently, catch a glimpse of their father’s life.
We all know that some people have more than others, live “better” than others, and have an easier time of things – from the outside looking in. If we focus on others’ lives (rather than our own), aren’t we susceptible to constant comparisons that breed tunnel vision, self-absorption, or hits to our self-esteem?
Cyber-stalking the ex certainly doesn’t encourage starting a new life. Besides, do we really think that Facebook represents reality?
Shouldn’t we be facing Facebook with a more critical eye?
Protecting Our Kids
On occasion, if one of my sons tells me to check something out on his Facebook page, I may collide into a photograph that I would rather not see – of my ex.
It. Still. Hurts.
I feel the old anger bubble up, so I set aside, I move off the page, and I keep my mouth shut.
As for those women (especially) whom I’ve known to track the ex’s every move online – following the assorted relationships, public conversations, weekend trips here and there – I can understand if you’re still involved in legal proceedings, if you’re concerned about your kids, if you find yourself stuck in the post-affair-aching stage or even if, like me, you’re living in perpetually challenging financial circumstances.
Cyber-Stalking? Not Cool
Unless you’re genuinely worried about your kids – something your ex is doing, people he’s spending time with, places your children are being taken (or left alone), why not stop the cyber-stalking?
As for me, I like my sanity and I don’t care to relive old pain. l’m in a good relationship, and I certainly wouldn’t want my ex to cyber-stalk me. So why on earth would I cyber-stalk him?
I prefer no peephole into his life. I can only imagine that he feels the same.