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In “Hella Disrespectful,” episode seven of Season 2 of Insecure, Issa was told by Tiffany that her ex, Lawrence, was going to be attending a birthday dinner she was holding in honor of her husband, Derek. Issa says that she’s fine with him coming to the party when she’s really not (she didn’t really have a choice), and proceeds to try and look him up on Facebook to know his whereabouts. When she attempts to, that’s when she finds out that she’s been blocked. It’s a move by Lawrence that not only draws the ire of Issa, but also one of her usual bathroom mirror raps.
When she finally has her awkward encounter with Lawrence (and short-lived boo Aparna) at the birthday dinner and storms out, she has it out with him about his decision to block her. Honestly, he had good reason: He didn’t want to see anymore pictures of her canoodling with the guy she cheated on him with.
I thought about that episode while talking to a friend about the recent news of singer The Weekend and girlfriend Selena Gomez breaking up. Us Weekly reported that soon after the news broke that the couple of 10 months split, the “Starboy” singer blocked Gomez’s family members, friends, her team, and fan accounts dedicated to the couple. He also deleted a majority of photos he had of her on his accounts. And while we speculated about whether he was big mad or little mad, we could both agree that based on the fact that she’d already been seen out with her ex, Justin Bieber, he had the right to block whomever he wanted to.
However, as was the case for Issa, when we’re on the receiving end of being blocked, it doesn’t feel very good. We bemoan the way we’ve been treated and call the behavior of our exes childish and petty. But when it comes to blocking someone after a breakup, is it really?
One man asked that question, and in fact, wondered if such a decision was aggressive when he shared his concerns about blocking his ex:
“Broke up with ex on Monday night, I imagine her way of dealing with it is blocking it out and acting normal, so naturally there’s pictures of her enjoying herself on snapchat/Facebook etc,” he said. “It’s hard to see but is blocking someone an act of aggression?”
Quite a few people told him that unfollowing her would be the way to go, and after time passed and hurt feelings were gone, he could follow her again in the near future if he wanted to, or at the very least, just be available to be contacted. But one commenter put it best: “Blocking and deleting are acts of love for oneself,” they said. “By blocking and deleting, we show our wellbeing [sic] and recovery are important.”
While some people might do it for petty reasons (to try and send you the message that you’ve been unceremoniously dismissed), blocking for many people is simply an act of self-care. We don’t need to relive the pain of a breakup every time we log into our social media accounts, and just as I wouldn’t go out looking for my ex in everyday life after we’d chosen to move on from one another, I don’t want to look for you online. I don’t want to see the ways in which you’ve moved on and seem unaffected. I don’t want to drive myself crazy.
That doesn’t mean the urge to look our exes up doesn’t come and go, but that’s the reason going the blocking route isn’t such a bad idea.
When deciding whether or not to block your past partner, you need to focus on doing what’s best for you. While we don’t want to hurt others, we can’t consistently hurt ourselves in an attempt to spare whatever feelings they may have about your decision to avoid seeing them. You’re not together anymore, therefore your loyalty is no longer to them and their emotional state — it’s to yourself and your own…
But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? Is it petty to block an ex on social media or an act of self-care?