One in 5 Brit women stalk their ex online. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that’s true of us too. Here’s technical help for a clean break.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, wrote British playwright William Congreve in his 1697 play, The Mourning Bride. Like most epic love stories, was a tragedy. Had Congreve adapted the plot to contemporary times, his lead Zara would most likely have been left with a broken heart and countless cuddling selfies to remind her of her love lost.
So what do you do when your relationship is over and you are left to pick up the pieces? When comfort food isn’t able to fill the gaping hole of mushy Facebook statuses and kissy display pictures on Whatsapp, scorned lovers often turn to spying on expartners online.
You are not alone. According to a UK survey, one out of five women admitted to stalking their exes online. While men also fall into the habit of snooping on the ex, it’s 30 per cent of women who said they ‘follow’ their exes openly via social media after a break-up, and 22 per cent confessed to creating a fake account to keep tabs on them. One out of five women even admitted to drunk-dialing their former boyfriend, only to regret it the morning after. Merely 18 per cent of them claimed they were able to resist the urge to contact their ex and cut off contact online, as well.
Psychologists argue that besides being embarrassing, mulling over relationships that have gone sour can ruin your chances of discovering new love and move on.
But there’s still hope for the other 72 per cent. If technology got you into the habit of fusing identities with the object of your affection online, it will get you out.
Here’s our take on four apps that help you move on online:
If you spend hours browsing through pictures of your ex-boyfriend, trying to read hidden clues in comments from his friends -stop. The Internet and around the corner bakeries are to blame for our depleting levels of self-discipline. Facebook allows you to choose the content that will show up on your timeline feed via adjustment in settings. Fiddle around and you should be able to control the information from your ex’s profile if you aren’t ready to hit the Unfriend button. Similarly, for email users, go to your filters and add the email ids of your ex to keep their funny cat video forwards from ruining your day.
There’s also an online guardian called KillSwitch. The app’s tagline is pretty self-explanatory – Making Breakups Suck Less. Available for Android and iOs users, this app will erase every trace of your ex from your Facebook. Say bye-bye to photos of your weekend trip, that birthday surprise, his pokes, even flirty wall posts, comments and emoticons are sanitised from your view.
For those hoping to revisit the memories when you are strong enough, there’s an e-folder to preserve the photos for later viewing.
There is no shortage of apps to ensure you are able to block your ex’s calls. So what if they were actually built for annoying telemarketers; the function still applies.
However, to know if you are the one with the problem, think about how rom-coms make you feel. When the hero runs to the airport to declare his undying love for the girl, do you feel like calling and doing the same? If so, you’ve got a case of the fidgety dial button.
Mr Number comes to the rescue. This callblocker app blocks calls and text messages from a person, a business, a prefix, or the world.
Better still is The Ex Lover Blocker, an app that believes in tough love. It sends a text message to a bunch of pre-decided friends in case you slip up and try to make contact with the ex. The makers of this app, obviously aware of your lack of will power, prefer to have your friends shame you or talk some sense into you. Either way, it’s effective.
Filter and flush
The interesting thing about drunken emotions is that while walking in a straight line seems like a task, putting words to feelings is suddenly easier.
Don’t trust your drunk self to give up if your call blocker tries to talk sense to you. Drunk dialling is a loose term but extends to email, Twitter and so on when it comes to saying inappropriate things.
For a blanket ban on digital communication while your body digests the five glasses of gin, visit the Sobriety Test website. Make sure you install the plug-in while you are still sober. Choose the services you want to block when you have had a couple of drinks – you can even add your own email and website to the list. Then, log in with Facebook and give permissions.
How it works is that if you try to sign in when drunk, it will give you a series of challenges. For example, counting till 30 is usually enough time to knock some sense into you. For everything else, there’s chocolate icecream.