Creeping across social media to grasp for your last strands of validation and closure sans the person it didn't work out with sucks. You know you're wearing the pathetic cape whilst you lurk, shrouded in misery and gloom, feeling powerful yet helpless like The Shadow and murmuring your rants in Alec Baldwin's cursed voice.
All that inner upper-hand pretense and yet you think momentary masochism is the answer to what you don't have answers for.
We've been there and done this years before. Believe us when we say don't stay in the tunnel. Instead, sprint towards the light at the end. Let the better version of yourself hug you right now. Put your phone face down on the table or shut off that laptop screen. You deserve better, and no, we don't even mean a better person (who's better than anyone, anyway?). We're talking a better treatment of yourself. Here are five reasons to avoid lurking and five ways to help you do so.
1. Unless you were married, their lives are none of your business anymore. It was over before you clicked this article and it is still over as you're reading. You know it, they know it, and whether the closure you got or didn't get was friendly yet hazy, mad, and manic or vaguely vague, you're not communicating anymore. At this point, respecting and accepting the silence is being kinder to both parties.
2. It’s not behavior you yourself would find respectful if you were being stalked. Lurking or stalking more than momentarily borders on the obsessive. Depending on how deep your connection was, the urge to do so is understandable and part of grieving a certain form of "loss". However, the act itself is not one that someone else would model. Always operate in a manner that brings you higher in people's eyes. You wouldn't look up to someone who was constantly stalking.
3. It’s counterproductive. Stalking causes a varied form of stalemate in your life. Nothing moves forward when you do so...except the cursed cursor on your screen. Everything freezes short of your broken heart when you reach through 1's and 0's for answers that won't come.
4. It causes unnecessary anxiety. Stalking causes presumption and presumption leads to vain imaginings which, to begin with, are unbiblical, inaccurate, and an additional cause for stress. Don't torture yourself. You can't get all the details and even if you could they'd either semi-satisfy you or crush you. Paul McCartney's mother was named Mary. He was very close to her, and unknown to lots of people, the song "Let It Be" was written after her death. It was inspired by a dream Paul had where his mother came to him and peacefully said "Let it be." Please don't wait for a ghost to tell you what to do.
5. It’s not something you’d encourage a loved one to do. We know for certain that if you were comforting or encouraging someone in your situation, you'd try to dissuade them from stalking. If it's something you wouldn't advise anyone dear to do, consider yourself dear and urge yourself to do better things with your time.
Those were our reasons, now here are our ways to help you along, with minimal drama involved.
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1. As soon as you wake up, don’t stay in bed. Go somewhere, do something...anything! Hit the shower right away. Make breakfast. But don't scroll through your phone first. You control the information that comes in. Feeds don't need to tumble down on you. Also, physically getting up has you assert yourself over your phone, unlike in bed (figuratively) where your phone and all those feeds hang over you like you have no choice.
2. Make a pact with a friend. If you get tempted to lurk online, look for someone else. Meet, text, or call a friend who's willing to be the rock upon which waves crash. Let them be your temporary go-to proxy in place of what you think you're looking for. Reach out to people who actually care about you. Staying accountable makes it easier.
3. Do receive and check your messages but avoid social timelines for awhile. Life goes on and we can't help that. While we just have too many options, we're still in control. Limiting those options will help you get through this time. You can always receive messages but you don't always have to check your feeds and timeline. You can always post, but you don't need to see what other people are posting for now. Choosing freedom sometimes means temporarily limiting yourself.
4. Avoid moderately and don’t take drastic preventive measures. The very best thing usually in moments of heightened emotional transition is to not make drastic decisions. Avoid switching any settings while things are fresh. There's no need to download blocking apps, unfriend people, perform burning rituals of mementos or anything of that sort because doing so just adds negative energy. Give the situation neutral energy instead. Do nothing. LIVE. Silence is golden, but go ahead and post that fluffy 9gag puppy you saw (unless it looks like that person's puppy).
5. Plan spontaneous sleepovers with relatives or friends. Another key thing is to not be alone at night in bed with your devices as many times of the week as possible, especially when you're not exhausted. Just be with people you can trust, 'til you're ready to pass out and sleep.
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