Dear Tamara:

My boyfriend and I recently had a heated argument. I was sure that after a few days things would calm down and we would be able to work things out. That was until a mutual friend told me that my boyfriend had changed his relationship status on Facebook. When I went to check, I found that he had “defriended” me and blocked me from his page! I was furious and very embarrassed. We have a ton of mutual friends and he is friends with several members of my family. Needless to say, I have been getting a ton of phone calls and messages. I am not sure what to tell people; especially since I didn’t know that we had officially broken up. I hate that he put our business on Front Street. I haven’t changed my relationship status yet, but am thinking that I should do something. How should I respond to this?

Defriended

Dear Defriended:

Breaking up can be a difficult thing and I can imagine it being more difficult in a public forum. While I am not sure of the proper protocols for breaking up on Facebook, I do not agree with using social media as a weapon. I do not think retaliation and arguing back and forth on Facebook, My Space, and Twitter is a good look, especially when so many people are watching and paying attention to your status updates and posts.

Unfortunately, when you make the decision to share your personal life on a public forum, you open yourself up to a certain level of visibility to all the people who have access to your profile (which can include family, friends, coworkers, and even your boss). You have to be careful not to allow your embarrassment or anger to make you react in a way that you do not want others to witness!

Though childish and immature, it seems like your ex got the “shock” reaction he was going for by breaking up with you online for all to see rather than in private and face-to-face. There seems to be a lot of that going on these days. It seems easier for people to say difficult things through texts and email messages. I personally think it is sad that two people cannot communicate with one another, especially when they have been in a relationship together for any period of time.

I encourage you to contact your ex and try to work things out offline. If you do not get back together, learn a lesson from this public display of “nonaffection” and move on. Don’t be so quick to share your relationship details on your public profile.

 

Author of the upcoming book Been There Done That: And Lived to Tell About It, Tamara R. Allen is Your Advice Guru giving REAL advice from REAL experience. Email your questions to [email protected]. You can follow Tamara on twitter @tamararallen or check out her daily column and archives at www.tamararallen.com.