Of Heartbreaks & Digital Footprints

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Recently, one of the badges that I pin to my bag bag broke off and I googled "How to mend a broken badge" I could have just gone ahead and bought another badge worth 50 bucks, but the Monica in me wouldn't let that happen. From "How to get ball pen ink marks off leather" to "How to get peanut butter off hair", I have googled it all. Anyway, I digress. As I was typed "How to mend a broken...", the first option that google suggested was "broken heart" followed by "broken soul". It is almost amusing to think that people turn to google for mending a broken heart. Having been through a couple of heartbreaks myself, I know how hard it is to get over a broken relationship. But never did I ever resort to google to help me get over the pain. In today's social media age, it is very difficult to get over a heartbreak. More so because every social media platform has remnants of the relationship. Plus, it is very easy to keep track of someone, also known as stalking.

It took me years to get over my first heartbreak, and to be honest the pain I went through was self inflicted. I was more in love with the concept of love than the person. Insecurity and love can never exist on the same page, anyway. I started my blog during this heartbroken phase. Back then, I used this blog as an open diary and used to vent as and when I wanted. Plus, it brought out the poet in me and I wrote some really good poems that were totally seeped in melancholy. As and when I found and lost love, I've penned poems or stories around it. All those posts are still very present on my blog. For those who have known me from the start in the blogging world, they've seen my journey from heartbreak to happiness and back and forth.

It is all out there. I am not ashamed of it. It is a part of my past that gave rise to this wonderful future of mine. I don't see a point in removing certain posts from my blog just because it was meant for someone else eons ago. In the 8 odd years of my blogging, I've met and known so many wonderful bloggers who have gone through the same phases as I did. But sadly, I see that some of them have erased all their old posts or abandoned the blog and started new ones. Suddenly, they and their blog feel so incomplete and unfamiliar. One needs to be really secure of their past to let the footprints be as is. I am and so is my partner. Hence, the question of chopping chunks of my blog never arises.

Today, social media has ruined it for everyone. Thankfully, I was the one who didn't update relationship statues or photographs on social media until I was sure that I want to marry that person. But, I'm guilty of posting heartbroken statuses on Orkut back then. Thank God, it disintegrated on its own. I was a late bloomer on Facebook. But yes, I did post my share of lugubrious statuses initially, but soon I grew out of it. While I've uploaded pictures of myself online with my male friends, I've never put up a picture with a boyfriend on Facebook. I did not want to share anything with the world until I was sure of it. The first picture I uploaded on Facebook with a boyfriend, is the man I call my husband today.

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I have seen people updating their photographs day after day with different partners. No, I'm not judging them. But the fact that they feel the need to go back and delete the picture of the previous person bothers me. Maybe that's how you erase someone from your life online, but since I was not a victim of this I wouldn't understand this much. For me, all my feelings were poured into my blog. Today, there are different poems on my blog that were written for different people, and that doesn't bother me. Mainly because today when I go back to read it, there is only one person in my mind and somehow the words fit well in the present too. Years ago, when I found out that some of my poems were being shared by the person it was intended to and he was taking pride by showing it off to his friends, I got over the person that very instant. Yes, my blog helped me get over the heartbreak in a way. But my handiwork still remains on the blog. I'm proud of my words, I'm proud of my writing. I don't want to lose it for anyone.

I do not feel the shower love on my partner online. Of-course I'm supportive of what he does and share/retweet his work as and when I understand it. He does the same. That's about it. Have you see people go bat shit crazy about how much they love their partner and what gifts they have bought for them or received from them online?  I'm really old fashioned in this regard, I like to keep the moments of my relationship private. Exactly why I do not like posting pictures of us online. I do it occasionally on Instagram though because currently that is the only platform I love and trust. People think that I do not post "together" pictures online because I want to appear single. Honestly, I know a lot of men and women who do this for this very reason. On social media, the profile is 'mine', not 'ours'. Obviously it will have more of my pictures. And don't get me started on those parents who put up their kid's pictures as their display pictures for their profiles. Talk about starting an identity crisis for the kids way too early in their life! Years later, what would the child think of this unnecessary digital footprint?

One should never be afraid or ashamed of one's past. If there was no past, there would be no future as well. But yes, one needs to be wary of what they put up on social media. I know that the initial rush of love is amazing and you want to share it with the world, but are you sure that it would last forever? Also, social media now has become a very comparative space. Everyone wants to up one another. I've seen people posting statuses about how much in love they are without even tagging the other half. I mean does the other person even know that he/she's being spoken about. This sounds really fake and attention seeking to me. Being in love sure is wonderful, but that's not all there is to the world. Don't give so much importance to heartbreaks and it is not always necessary to leave behind a digital footprint of your love. But if there is one, just remember that it was a part of you and it helped mould you to become the person that you are today.

Hold you head high and be proud of yourself. That includes your past, past and the future. If your partner doesn't get it, he/she doesn't deserve you in the first place.

10 comments:

  1. Completely agree. I think social media, with all it's advantages, has now also become a place to show off one's 'love' and it makes me wonder, if it's the love people are talking about or the attention on social media. And yes, being comfortable with oneself is very important for being secure in the future.

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    1. Yes Naba, it does come across as fake most times.

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  2. I really don't know what to say. I agree about the social media part though. I think it is better that we share prudently about our personal life there. We don't have to go all lovey dovey and post too many pictures of our significant other and kids. I have cut back a lot. And thankfully when I got on social media or blogging, I was already married with kids. So no such dilemmas of any content related to exes. But in my life, I just moved on and I didn't even add them on my FB profile or stayed in touch with them. I felt that best for myself. I guess a person's comfort level about public sharing of private heartbreaks depends on what they feel personally and also the comfort level of their partners. In my opinion, to each their own.

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    1. Definitely! But when people share stuff and then feel the need to go back and remove it later, that's what bothers me. If it is a part of one's life, then I think it should just remain.

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  3. I so agree with you, Soumya. Our past moulds us into the person we become, so what's there to be ashamed of? It was a part of our journey, some lessons we learnt are thanks to that past. We ought to accept it and be proud we came out of it in one piece, stronger and a better person!

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    1. Yes Shilpa, we all need to accept our pasts and move on. Much stronger, much better.

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  4. Agree with you. Sometimes it is these sharings that hurt people more an make them depressed. I know of a friend who has retired into her shell after a breakup because she is ashamed of what the world will think of her. And the comparison thing is so so true. We mostly tend to share our moments of happiness online with our friends and they have no idea of what our struggles are. So people end up thinking that we are enjoying life to the fullest while they are burdened with the pressures of life. I wish everyone understood that if people started sharing their everyday struggles and sorrows, social media will no longer be a place they would want to go back to. As for pictures of children, I am guilty of having shared quite a few of them earlier. Now I have cut down after reading so much about identity theft and having experienced it first hand.

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    1. Youngsters these days go through so much thanks to SM. They put up a picture with a loved one and as soon as the relationship ends, they are left wondering what to do. I find social media posts and updates to be very fake these days.

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  5. Haha. Reading some of the posts made me think you are Monica. 😊 I feel the same about my Orkut posts. I am glad it disintegrated too. I remember early Facebook days and so many status updates that I made. I guess I used it like the Whatsapp Status update initially, gradually I lost interest even there. I trust Insta for one reason, there is very less negativity and that makes me trust this environment more. Somehow I don't feel convenient sharing much on FB nowadays. More of Stalking and less of talking. When I broke up for the first time, the pain was truly self-inflicted. I am glad I never shared it online because I never felt like it. When Love happened all by itself, it was evident and that's when I found who my real well-wishers were. I don't believe in sharing much of my photos with hubby online except for the wedding and reception snap. I keep it to my friends and family. There are people who have changed profiles and also deleted photos like you said. Somehow that peace doesn't last long unless they deal with it real time. After reading this post, I actually realized something from my past. It happened and I am glad it happened because it made me who I am today inspite of the scars.

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  6. How come I missed about changing mobile numbers. When people change mobile numbers because of a failed relationship, I feel bad for them. I don't believe in it and if a person has to call up just to stir up things, I am glad I am in a position to handle it than hide.

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