Delete Or Keep? 34 People Share What They Do With Their Social Media Memories After A Breakup

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

1. Spring Cleaning

Yep. I absolutely hate looking at anything that reminds me of an ex after a breakup. Any pictures or comments they made on my posts on FB get deleted, I unfriend/unfollow them, etc. I make it so there is no trace I’ve ever been with them because I don’t like randomly coming across a post or picture of/about them. There are seldom things I still have on social media pertaining to exes. I consider it a spring cleaning of sorts. My mom posted pictures of me and a couple exes while we were dating but I’m not tagged in them, so I don’t really consider those on my social media. I usually do it right after the breakup because I don’t like stuff like that lingering.

Any pictures I have of exes are either in a DropBox folder or Google Drive, both of which I hardly look at.

2. A Huge Chunk Of My Life

I was with my ex for a long time, and if I deleted every sign of him, I’d be erasing a huge chunk of my life.

3. More Harm Is Done By Pretending

My ex is a wonderful person who cares and does still care for me. I love her way more deeply than I care to admit. Breaking things off was difficult indeed but I couldn’t come to delete anything of us. There’s more harm done when pretending they weren’t ever a part of my life. She played a huge role in becoming what I became today and I owe her that. Those pictures I keep in my journal are the final, rolling credits of our relationship.

4. Too Many Memories To Get Rid Of

I keep up old pictures with exes. I don’t have a ton of Facebook, so it’s not terribly in your face. I have a lot of memories tied with the pictures and I wouldn’t want to get rid of them.

5. Only The Profile Pic Changed

I just left it all there. It’s part of my history, I don’t see a reason to delete it.

I did change my profile picture to a picture he didn’t take after we broke up though. But the old picture is still in the profile pic album.

6. I Just Hid Them

I hid a lot of mine when my ex of 4.5 years and I broke up. He was pretty pissed about the breakup, so he did a lot of the deleting for me. I tended to just delete things over time when I came across them. No right or wrong way to do things.

I’m guessing people’s “but I don’t want to delete my past!” Is coming from a place similar to “but I wouldn’t rip pages of my diary out!” Facebook is an enormous corporation that uses our data to produce ad revenue for themselves, not my favorite Lisa Frank journal, and none of that stuff is guaranteed to last the test of time anyway. I once poured three or four years into a “friends only” journal site only to have them pack it in overnight, taking all my writing with them. Just save photos you want to keep as memories to your computer, screenshot wall posts if you must, etc. then delete the suckers.

7. Delete

I delete. What’s the point? Also it feels good to clean up the digital build up of memories. If I really liked a memory, I would keep it on my computer but get rid of it from social media.

8. It Took Me Over A Year To Do It

It depends on the nature of the breakup. If someone is still hung up on you, or the breakup was messy, I think it’s best to get rid of those pictures (or just make them private) as soon as possible. Otherwise I don’t think it’s a big deal… It took me over a year to go back and get rid of my pictures with my ex (except a couple where we’re in groups together), and I did it because I was getting serious about my girlfriend and wanted to be respectful.

9. Facebook Is A Timeline Of My Life

I don’t delete pictures with exes. My Facebook is a timeline of my life, I’m not going to delete parts of it because they are over. I wouldn’t make my profile picture a picture of me with an ex, but I’m also not going to erase their existence.

A caveat on this is that I have never had a break up with a lot of ill-will. I have had truly heartbreaking ones, but no angry ones. I look back with fondness on all my exes. If I was terribly wronged, I’m not sure how I would react.

10. It’s All In Why You Broke Up

Depends on the terms of the break up.

One ex and I broke up because distance is difficult and neither of us could really commit the time to stay together. So we broke up and it was painful for awhile but dating him wasn’t something I regretted or wished that I had never done. I don’t mind remembering our time together. So I didn’t hide anything from Facebook, I did take down the pictures of us together that I had at home.

I broke up with another ex with more of a “burn everything and salt the earth so nothing may grow here ever again” mentality. And so I deleted pictures, untagged him in group photos, threw out everything that reminded me of him, destroyed the jewelry he gave me etc. I like to overlook/forget that year of my life.

11. Only If It Was Especially Bad

Not unless the relationship was especially bad. Just because things didn’t work out doesn’t undo the fact that they were once very close to me and we had a lot of happy memories together. I wouldn’t want it to either because those things are a part of me.

12. They Represent A Time When I Was Happy

I would definitely change that profile pic, but I wouldn’t delete it.

I just broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years, and I haven’t actually deleted any of our pictures together! I just made sure my profile and background pic were of me only. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to delete those pics at all. They’re a significant part of my past, and they represent a time when I was happy; just because I’m moving on now doesn’t mean I wasn’t incredibly happy when I was with them.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call deleting the pictures “juvenile,” but I would advise caution – do it with a clear mind (so you know you won’t miss them), not when you’re still feeling raw. If it’s “really hard” to delete and feels too “permanent,” then maybe you aren’t ready to make that decision.

As for guys wondering if you’re over him…I don’t think that would be a concern as long as you aren’t talking about him/posting new pics of you guys together. Remember: no one expects you to have never had a relationship before them. Why should they be shocked that there was a guy in you life at one point? Though I will say that, for Tinder…go out with a girlfriend and take some new pics, ones without your ex in them. Might be the best option (don’t delete, just add new pics). Hope that helps!

13. Very Few Exceptions

I do, I tend to erase them completely after they’re gone with very few exceptions.

14. Move On

Yes. It helps me move on, that part of my life with them is over and having reminders all over slows down my moving on. I usually do it fairly quick after a breakup. I also write down what I didn’t like about it and what I felt like I was missing in said relationship, it allows me to figure out what I need in a relationship to be happy and what I want from a partner in the future. For instance my last few have been lacking in physical intimacy which is something i’m finding I really want next go around.

I’m not really one to be friends with ex’s, I’ve tried it before and it just doesn’t work for me.

Part of my deleting things might have to do with my past relationships ending badly, cheating on their ends etc.

15. Save And Delete

I moved major photo albums that I didn’t want to lose to private in settings and deleted things blatantly ‘coupley’ when I entered another serious relationship. I left the actual text posts alone.

16. F*ck Social Media

No, but only because I don’t care enough about social media to bother to do anything with it.

17. It’s The Events I Want To Remember

When I broke up with my ex I left the pictures on Facebook. That was over a year and a half ago. It’s not so much that I want to remember him as I want to remember the reason the photos were taken: in some I was wearing a $200 prom dress that I looked awesome in, one was at a family get-together, etc.

18. Anything That Looks “Couple-y” Goes

I just found pictures of my ex on an account and deleted them; they were 4 year old pictures. Whoops.

Immediately, though, I’ll delete anything that makes it look like we’re together (as said above, “couple-y”).

19. Reminiscing Is Important

Devil’s advocate here: I don’t know why it has to be “deleting history”. People put way too much emphasis on their “moments” on social media to define their life’s greatest moments based on that online persona. Just because the world can’t see your ex doesn’t mean you didn’t have that relationship.

I deleted every photo when I broke up with my ex. They are kept in the cloud so if I ever want to reminisce then they’re there. If I broke up with my current SO then yes I would delete everything on social media with him but back up the photos to the cloud. I don’t see the point to constantly be reminded of their face. They’re out of my life for a reason and it’s time to move on.

20. You Can Just Set Them Private…

Actually, I never know how to deal with pictures in Facebook. My ex photos are still there. I just set it on “Private which is only I can view” mode and cleaned them out from my profile page. Its not that I miss my ex because I have moved on but more of the nice memories you had and how you grow to be the person you are now.

I’m just afraid that 1 day my future other half would snoop into my fb account and be sensitive about it.

21. He Was In Almost All My Pics

I deleted everything apart from a graduation one. It was hard because he was so controlling and possessive he was in almost all my pictures so I don’t have many left of the last four years.

22. I’m Not Erasing Good Things From My Life

Not for the last ex. He was a very positive influence in my life (our breakup was mutual) and whilst it’s been approx. 2 months and we’re giving each other space, we’re both quite chilled and respectful towards each other. Erasing pics and vids of him just seems like erasing part of my life that actually was ok for me.

23. It’s Unhealthy

I would be suspicious of a new prospective partner if she had erased her previous partners from FB. It doesn’t look healthy or bode well for a civilized ending to our relationship.

I would also be suspicious if a new partner had a problem with my previous partners photos still being in FB, or with me remaining friends with my exes.

I was somewhat considerate for one partner whose husband had cheated on her, but in general I reckon untrusting & untrustworthy people both live in the same hell and should be avoided.

24. Scorched Earth

Not only did I delete all evidence of my ex on social media (also blocking him from ever seeing my profile or searching for me), I destroyed and threw away everything he ever gave me. As well as deleting all the pictures I had of him saved on my computer and his number from my phone.

Basically, I erase every physical and digital thing connected to my ex as if he never existed. That our relationship never happened. If I could erase the memories too, I would. Even though there were good moments in our relationship, what he did that broke my heart tainted all those good memories. I get no pleasure from thinking back on the good times we had because they were all lies. Our entire relationship was a lie.

25. Too Many Happy Memories Worth Keeping

I don’t. I’m not ashamed of any past relationships. It would take a ridiculous amount of time, and even though things didn’t work out, they are still happy memories. Of course, I do change my profile picture and whatnot. I tried to space my relationships appropriately apart, so it’s not as though someone I’m dating would be offended that last week I had a couple picture as my profile.

I’ve found that eventually my ex’s and I come around to being civil, as there is still a little bond there, or maybe a soft spot, if you will. To be honest, I would think it slightly immature/slightly neurotic if my ex meticulously deleted every picture of us. However, all of my relationships documented on Facebook have been a year and a half+, so it would be a TON of photos.

But to each their own.

26. Social Media Sucks

This is why I fucking hate social media sometimes.

It brings strangers and old ‘friends’ you don’t even talk to into your relationship status. And jealousy or inappropriate communication between people.

Then your breakup goes public. So aggravating.

I feel like inventing a platform where romantic relationships are off the table. No dual person profiles. No ‘in a relationship’. Nothing but the abyss. As it should be, lol.

27. Garbage Can Fire

Deleting all your stuff off social media is basically the equivalent of yesteryear’s garbage can fire. You do it when you’re ready and when you are you light that sucker up….hopefully without having to call the fire department in ten minutes.

28. Save Some Photos, Toss Everything Else

I untagged the photos and blocked him. I saved some photos for myself and ended up deleting them on social media. I unblocked him 2 years later and he friended me. It was fine until he insisted on commenting and liking all of my posts. It’s so much easier to just delete and block.

29. Deleting Is Overkill

Seems like overkill to me, honestly. It’s in your past, everybody knows it happened, and you’re never going to forget it. What good comes from trying to bury it?

I hated my ex for a while, and I deleted/blocked her on Facebook as well as on my phone, though I didn’t do the total deletion like some are talking about. Eventually we started talking again and I undid all that stuff. Now it’s just something in the past that I can talk about and that I occasionally see on Facebook.

30. It’s Whatever

I’m not a hugely lovey-dovey personal on social media anyways (I honestly only post on Facebook once a week or so, and 90% of the time it’s about food), so the small handful on there, whatever. I think I deleted one of us kissing once, but that’s because it was painful to see, because it was not a breakup I wanted.

If anyone was jealous about my past, I’d laugh them out the door. I’d never want to be with someone that insecure.

31. A Toxic Relationship

I only did with one guy. We were in a very toxic relationship and we kept going back to each other. I finally deleted or unfriended him in every place I could, so I wouldn’t be able to go back to him and it helped me get past the whole situation.

32. In Your Face Can Be Hard

It’s not deleting the past. You can still have those pictures to look at as memories when you’re ready but having them right there can make it harder to accept you’re not together anymore. Also, it might make a future person you’re looking to start up with think you’re not over them. I personally think of my Facebook to be the representation I WANT of myself! I can choose what I share etc and I don’t want people thinking an ex is still part of my life if they’re not!

BUT I also think it’s different for different people and every circumstance should be treated individually etc etc.

33. Everyone Should Get Rid Of Them And Move On

I dunno, wouldn’t want to go out with a guy who had pictures of his ex everywhere. I did and it really eats away at your confidence. Confidence is hard to get its even harder to get them a decent boyfriend. So no, I wouldn’t keep them up and wouldn’t accept someone with them.

34. Two Categories: Serious And Not Serious

It depends:

SERIOUS: Yes, if it was a bad enough split (and when it’s serious, aren’t they always?). It would kill me to see their new friends/activities/girlfriends, even if it’s a curated picture-perfect lie, I know I wouldn’t see that and dwell… and it’s unhealthy

NOT SERIOUS: We went on a couple dates, and I really don’t care. I don’t have feelings so they could do just about anything new/great/interesting/bad with their lives and I wouldn’t know because I wouldn’t be tempted to checkup on them. And pictures of us together wouldn’t bring back any bad memories. TC mark

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