9/21 Impersonal or Hyperpersonal? – Talia Feinberg

“Are You Going to Delete Me?” is a study conducted regarding the “post-breakup” grieving period that takes place on social media. The researchers gathered a group of individuals after their breakup and studied their activity on social media in regards to their ex-partners profile and their own social media posts with them. Through this, they were able to separate the group into four different sections ranging from “clean breakers” who have  “zero to very little monitoring, interacting, or deleting and were unlikely to delete their ex-partner, stop use, or keep digital possessions”, through wistful reminicers, ritual cleansers, and lastly (and most impacted on social media due to their breakup) impulsives. 

This article was very interesting as it enforces the point of social media consuming our lives. After a breakup, people are far more likely to obsess over their ex-partners (and ex-partners family and friends) social media pages. In addition, they are far more likely to have a longer and more intense grieving process due to this obsessive behavior. Having access to your ex-partners social media at the palm of your hand causes people to be anxious about what they and their families are doing, therefore elongating the process. Social media has clearly taken over many aspects of our lives, and this article underscores the point that this is not always a good thing. 

3 thoughts on “9/21 Impersonal or Hyperpersonal? – Talia Feinberg

  1. Talia, I was excited to read your comment because this was also an article that I was very intrigued by. This study takes a really unique approach and it highlights an example that I definitely can relate to. Social media truly is all-encompassing and relationships form both face-to-face and on social media as well. Additionally, when someone typically isn’t part of your life anymore, people tend to unfollow or delete them on social media platforms. It is crazy that social media has come to hold so much weight and people can really struggle when grieving due to the presence of social media.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting study, and definitely something that I have thought about as I have gotten older- the idea that social media allows us to share parts of our lives, however, when is it necessary to take a step back from social media? It really makes me wonder if post breakup (or post losing a friend, etc), a social media cleanse would aid in the healing process, for this would not allow for the obsessive behaviors following the event.

  3. You make a great point in saying that social media makes individuals more attached to people, environments, situations, etc. that we may normally not obsess as much over. Because social media is always present and existing, there’s always the opportunity to look back at moments shared that may ultimately hinder one’s ability to move past a situation faster. While being connected can be a great advantage, it can also do more harm than good.

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