What does breaking up really mean in this digital age? With the hyper-connectivity of the world, is it really possible to have a clean break?

Siddhi Pathak  |  Singapore
Published 2014-12-01 15:00:33

According to a report by the UN, Indians have greater access to cell phones than to toilets! While this raises serious questions relating to sanitation, it also speaks volumes about the technology-obsessed country that we are in. In such a situation, where being in virtual touch has become so easy, the entire concept of ‘breaking up’ has broken down.

The technological revolution has brought about a wave of positivism, making life a lot easier, and there’s no two ways to it. Be it college admission forms, job hunting or even shopping, everything is pretty much a cakewalk. But the flip-side is that all this simplicity in daily life has created a lot more complications in relationships. While a lot of people argue that smartphones have taken romance away from relationships, the real problem comes in after the romance has ended. It is impossible to break up in this day and age, both virtually and, consequently, in reality. A few years ago, one simply had to meet up at a coffee shop or a park and say a few sugar-coated words that would eventually translate to ‘I don’t love you’. That would be the end of it. There were phone calls occasionally and even text messages at most. All in all, it was much easier to reject and to be rejected.

Image Credit: Buzzfeed
Image Credit: Buzzfeed

These days, rejection is inflicted and comes directly and indirectly from a number of sources. With easy access to social media and excessive expression, there is a queer desire to tell the world and express your precise feelings in every moment. Just a single text, a WhatsApp message, a status update on Facebook, an Instagram post on break ups, or a sad Snapchat story won’t do it. We also have to express ourselves on Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest and Reddit! Also, seeing pretty pictures of your ex smiling in their latest status update, while you’re still an emotional mess, doesn’t help moving on at all.

In a day and age where digital relationships are an actual thing, just picking up the phone and calling someone and asking them how they’re doing is ‘coming out too strong’. Like they say, cell phones are used for everything but calling. When it comes to your ex, frantic calling (often triggered by intoxication) is probably the only calling you do. If you want to convey something, you first stalk them on all social media channels and take a good look at their WhatsApp display photo. Then, a simple Facebook/WhatsApp message. No rejection will hurt as badly as seeing those two blue ticks on WhatsApp, knowing that they’ve read the message without any intention of sending a reply! That is when it generally dawns that getting back together is not even a consideration and reality may start to sink in.

Image Credit: The Huffington Post
Image Credit: The Huffington Post

In a situation like this, how do you move on? How do you really ‘break up’? Even though you have broken up, what does it matter when every last bit of information about your ex is still flooding your timeline? The real relationship might be lost, but the challenge here is overcoming the digital relationship you share. Of course, you enter the viscous cycle of blocking and unblocking them on all these platforms. In the process, you also risk making yourself look like an immature fool. While minimal access was the problem earlier, now it’s invasive and excessive access. Privacy and personal space have become public and ultimately, it’s a struggle to move on.

In the end, just like with every other struggle, emotional strength is our best gamble.

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