Last week I attended Love 2.0, hosted by Zoosk, featuring a panel of experts discussing online dating. This discussion went beyond basic dating sites and touched on texting, calling via cell, Facebook, etc., and I'll go over some of the points in upcoming posts.
Love 2.0 did get me thinking: These days, you must "delete" someone from your life if you want to get them out of your life.
In middle school, I had a crush on a girl in the grade ahead of me named Julia. I got as far as calling her every night, which was a big deal back then. I got tired of looking up her number so I wrote it in silver crayon on my bedroom's land-line phone.
Back then, had I decided to "delete" Julia from my life, scratching that crayon off my phone would have been half the battle.
In the old days, it was as simple as "washing that man right out of your hair." We didn't have infinite contact points to reach that person afterward. Here are "traditional" items to purge after a breakup:
-Ticket stubs, programs, and other mementos
-Clothing and other items they left behind
For added effect, you can burn these items or throw them out the window.
Facebook is a killer when it comes to getting someone out of your life. Let's say you unfriend your ex, but remain friends with some of your ex's friends on Facebook. You still might have access to pictures of the ex or your ex's information.
Then there was my friend who had an emotional falling out with a guy because he was seeing another girl. A few days later she noticed his Facebook status gushing with mushy language about how he couldn't wait to see the other girl. The other girl "Liked" that status, angering my friend and prompting her to unfriend the guy.
Email has the vicious contact list and autofill that pops in an email address when you innocently type the first letter of their name.
Do you block a buddy on a messenger, risking a moment of weakness where you unblock them and communicate again? Or is it best to completely delete that name from your buddy list?
The steps to do a "2.0 Delete" don't require as much energy as the traditional delete, but it's not as easy as a traditional delete:
-Delete all old emails and get rid of their email address (clear it from the "autofill" in your email)
-Delete their number out of your phone
-Unfriend them on all social networking sites
-Block/Delete them on your messengers
Problem is, some people just don't like to delete contacts. I keep all numbers, whether it's a girl I just met or the girl I dated for five years. Maybe I think each number is a little victory, or I'm too sentimental, or perhaps I think if I stare at the number long enough, the girl will magically call me.
I use Facebook as a "positive marketing tool" for girls I should be deleting. I post "fun" things I'm doing, get into pictures with lots of great people, and hope that the girl notices my page and says, "Wow, he's really getting along great without me."
Online elements document your relationship in writing. So, you must clear out all this documentation: old messenger conversations, wall posts, emails, texts, etc. It's like an infestation, or that Whac-a-mole game. Everywhere you look, there's something else to delete.
Sadly, my phone turns into a weapon when I'm wasted. Select members from the unsuspecting populace of my contact list receive offensive messages: horrible singing prank calls, weird poetic phrases (that I think are so deep at the time), "u out?" booty calls, "thinking about you" rekindling texts.
When I'm drunk, alone, I think all my ideas are good, and I go rummaging for contacts in my phone and Facebook.
Protect yourself by having a friend shadow you or even hold your phone. The other night I announced, with drunk confidence, my grand plan to text a girl (who has a boyfriend) so she could meet up with us. My buddy played the role of disappointed parent, telling me "never to talk to that girl again."
In this day and age, we are too connected. Can we ever completely delete a person? It's no longer as simple as scraping crayon off the phone.
How do you delete people from your life? Are you also reluctant to delete contacts? How has the changing media/communication landscape affected the aftermath of your relationships? Do you find it hard to get away from exes with all the modes of communication out there?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens