YourTango has been sending out numerous press releases declaring Valentine’s Day an occasion for people to remove all signs of exes on Facebook. We’ve resisted these communiques, albeit after some debate amongst ourselves on whether they held any novelty. Now the website and corresponding page on the social network has come out with an entertaining video about the “”Break Up With Your Ex” campaign that’s cute enough for us to link at the very bottom of this post.
While we like the first four suggestions in the YourTango video, we strongly disagree with the fifth one — although we recognize that some people simply cannot strike up future friendships with exes. If you can’t become friends with an ex in the future, I feel sorry for you. I regularly refrain that exes can become your most powerful enemies or most amazing friends — why create the former when the latter will ultimately serve you better?
So, we don’t agree with YourTango’s advice that you unfriend your ex. If you unfriend someone and then make up with them, re-friending is awkward, and a friend request sent to an ex can get misconstrued. You’re much better off leaving the person on your friend list and simply hiding the person’s visibility to you.
Careful use of Facebook’s privacy settings will help you deal with breakups without making any enemies over the long haul. When you’re feeling the hurt, remove all signs of the ex from your own view — yes, delete that person’s pictures from your profile. And stop following their status updates on the social network. But try to to hide this person from view, rather than permanently deleting the individual from your friend list.
I happen to have a friend list on Facebook called exes, created out of respect for these individuals who know so much about me. I don’t necessarily have any permanent limitations on these dear friends’ ability to see parts of my profile, but the grouping is there just in case I ever feel like posting a note about something related to my relationship status or blind date without hurting anyone’s feelings.
The fact that I have such a list ought to tell you that I’m a very heavy user of the privacy settings on Facebook, and most people aren’t (yet). So with the majority of social networkers in mind, here is that promised link to the YourTango video about exes. Please let us know in the comments section what you think of the advice contained in the footage.