Digital Fresh Start: A How-To Guide

Divorce Advice for Women

Breaking up Can Be Even Harder to Do When It’s Digital

We are living in a new time that is here to stay where it’s very hard to get rid of reminders of our Ex. Even 10 years ago we didn’t have to worry about seeing the ghost of our Ex all over our social media. Not to worry: we’ve compiled a list of practical ways you can get a digital fresh start in the New Year – or any other time, for that matter.

There are two approaches to consider when breaking up digitally:

  1. Total eradication
  2. 90% eradication

We are proponents on embracing (mostly) a digital fresh start. There are heartache issues to deal with, and whether you think you are strong enough or not, you really are not missing anything important by not reading your Ex’s twitter rant , hearing about Starbucks messed up his precious order again,  seeing his concert photos, or getting his Netflix movie reccos. Facebook, Instagram, etc. are all great tools to help you feel connected to a bigger community – but that community shouldn’t include your Ex. Take the time to remove your Ex from your digital world, so you can move on to your next chapter.

Step by Step Guide to Your Digital Fresh Start

Pictures, iCloud, Phone Storage

A digital fresh start does not mean deleting pictures of your Ex, even though this is tempting. You are in these, too.  Especially in a long marriage, these photos are a record of you from 10, 20, 30 years ago. That said, you don’t need these pictures on your current phone. Get a hard drive or create a folder on your iCloud or Dropbox account, and move all photos there. No need to organize or cull it now;  just make one big folder and dump it all there, and forget about it. When you’re ready, whether that’s in a few months or ten years, you can go through them and keep what’s important.

Facebook

Sometimes our only photos of an event are on Facebook. If that’s the case, download the ones you or your kids are in from your profile and your Ex’s profile then save them away (see above).  Then delete all of the pics of your Ex and unfriend him. You may opt to keep some of them up on your profile if they have your friends and/or family in them.  If you opt not to unfriend your Ex (some parents prefer this), then hide him so he doesn’t show up in your feed, and un-tag yourself from his photos by hovering over the photo and click the tag button. You can also remove pictures from your timeline.

Instagram

From your account, delete the pics of him or you two together. Unfollow him.

Mobile Phone Family Sharing Plan

We get it: it’s cheaper and more practical for everyone to stay on the mobile “family plan.”

Do not do this.

You cannot even remotely begin to approach a digital fresh start when you and your Ex can monitor all of each other’s texts, phone calls, and other mobile behavior. Don’t tempt yourself: get your own account.  Your privacy and sanity are worth a few extra dollars.  The kids can either be on his or on yours.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu

Get your own account. You do not need to know what he last watched, what he is reading, what he is buying.  While it’s normal to wonder what your Ex is up to, you can’t move on if you’re digitally stalking him – and you probably already had a good idea of what he was watching, anyway.  Now’s the time to delve into your own shows – get reccos based solely on your interests.

It’s Time to Cut the Cords

The main point to all of this advice for dealing with your Ex is because it’s more difficult to move onto your next chapter if there are constant reminders of the Ex. He was a major part of your life, and you should not completely delete that history.  For now, move it to the Cloud.  Some time down the road, when you’re ready and strong, revisit the past.  If you have other ways you’ve gotten a digital fresh start, share them on our Facebook page.  Good luck!