How to break up on social media: Happy Valentine's Day

Breakup on social media in general

Valentine's Day is today. At least that is the plan: a time for chocolate, flowers, and love notes in cards.

But what happens if the union ends?

Given that the public follows celebrities' every move on social media, it is almost impossible for them to keep their breakups a secret.

Even more so when they reveal the truth about their ex-partner themselves.

Consider Megan Fox. She shared a cryptic Instagram post before deleting her account, which sparked rumors that she and rapper Machine Gun Kelly were no longer together.

And some famous people aren't very subtle. Rihanna took a shot at each of her ex-lovers in a single post after Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber engaged in a very public Instagram feud.

But do the same rules apply if you don't have 10 million followers or aren't a Hollywood A-lister?

William Hanson, an etiquette expert, has shared with Newsbeat his social media dos and don'ts after a breakup.

Jordan North, the radio host for Radio 1, and William are best friends. "If seeing pictures of your ex pop up constantly is going to trigger you then yes, maybe do a mute," says William.

To be perfectly honest, I believe blocking is a little bit harsh and may indicate to the other person that you are truly taking it personally.

And the majority of people who have broken up with someone don't want the others to know that they are even thinking about them.

So perhaps a block emits the incorrect signal. They won't be able to tell that you are mute, protecting you. ".

William Hanson with Jordan North
Jordan North, who works for Radio 1, is best friends with William Hanson.

"I believe you sometimes act hastily. And I would just pause to consider what you do," William says to Newsbeat.

"I almost feel tempted to delete all of my social media accounts.

Just so you're not tempted to share a motivational quote or a thirst post to draw attention from your ex or other people or to express how miserable you are feeling.

"I would be tempted to abstain for a few days in order to really reflect and consider the best course of action. ".

If we haven't all done it, we've probably all thought about it, and what about a post or story calling out a partner in the heat of the moment?

It's never a good idea to publicly discuss your breakup or to disparage them, according to William.

"The moment you do that, you no longer have the advantage.

"Two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how unfairly they may have treated you. ".

And what if you believe your partner has been unfaithful?

Unless, say, they were a very close friend, William says, "I would not feel the need to send them a message if there has been a third party involved.".

"Getting involved and letting loose on them if they were a stranger is probably not going to help the situation.

Open a draft note on your phone and type that message you've been dying to send, please. Nevertheless, don't send it.

Writing it down on your phone may be helpful, but actually sending it to them rarely works, and doing so may make you seem a little odd. ".

Posting something that is trying to attract attention is not something William recommends doing.

According to him, the entire point of social media is to try to attract someone's attention.

"I would never advise performing a thirst trap, but I can understand people's desire to receive some online validation. ".

And does William currently have one?

"No, that's unnecessary for people to see. ".

Observe Newsbeat on. Twitter. and . YouTube.

Observe Newsbeat. live. on weekdays at 12:45 and 17:45 - or hear it later. here.

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