Hugh Hefner recently announced on Twitter that he and his fiancée Crystal Harris have called off their wedding, which was confirmed by Harris on her blog, and met with an outpouring of sympathy and condolences from fans and followers of the Playboy mogul. Now, my heart doesn’t exactly bleed for The Heff (something tells me he won’t have a problem finding comfort elsewhere…like his backyard), but because he chose to announce his jilting in social media, as did she, it shows that the way we use social media in our lives is shifting. Social media is no longer about disseminating and sharing newsworthy content and ideas, but rather the focus today is on working through our relationship issues, navigating our social dynamics, and searching for empathy from those in the same boat.
The internet used to be about porn. Now it’s about Facebook. Likewise, we used to throw rocks at our lovers windows. Now we Tweet them. Everyday, we live our lives online, in a very public manner, and in this day and age, you don’t exist (intellectually, socially, or even to the government) without carving out your own online realm. But when it comes to the sadder events in our lives, such as illness, bereavement, or the break-up of our romantic pairings, people tend to slap a “TMI! Oversharing!” banner on it, shake their head and turn their noses up. There is something to be said for privacy in what traditionally was a private moment. But you went to the trouble of creating a Tumblr account, so why censor yourself now just to prevent a few scoffs from your readers? Stick to it, I say. Your readers enjoyed your content in the first place because they identified emotionally with it, and will probably identify with your pain as well.
The people who decided to follow you on Twitter or add you as a friend on Facebook are your number one cheering section, and the support you can gain from them, emotionally or otherwise, is immense, probably beyond what you estimate. And while it may not be easy for your ex-spouse to handle the idea of you talking about your broken heart on the internet, they’ll just have to deal with it. Because guess what, they’re walking into your online realm, so they should either tread carefully, or stay away altogether.
We used to mock online dating, but in 2011, we have accepted it, because we now know that this is just how people meet and fall in love nowadays. The same is true for breaking up. This is how we deal with our hurt, our pain, and our feelings when it comes to relationships. Anyone who can’t handle the shift should get out of the kitchen, because doing the safety dance on the internet will make your feelings fester and rot inside you, until everything comes rolling out one drunken night at the laptop.
When people take issue with your blog or social media content, it says more about them than you. If they don’t like how you choose to express your emotions, then they can start their own damn blog. Don’t tell me! Tell the internet!
Look at the positives: This could bring you closer to your family, your friends, and even strangers who identify with you. You can gain a few real-life friends in the mix, and maybe, just maybe, another partner can come out of it.
If this is how you work through your feelings, then let ‘er rip. The only thing you have to lose is the weight on your shoulders.
(Photo: Getty Images)