If, post-breakup, you find yourself overwhelmed by the task of digitally disentangling yourself from your former beau, take heart. Someone is willing to take this emotionally fraught bout of unfriendings and unfollowings out of your hands. Her name is Caroline Sinders, and she is at your service as a “Social Media Breakup Coordinator.”
As the Daily Dot reports,
“Sinders provides actionable suggestions and solutions to both eradicate someone from your digital life and clean up your own profiles. For example, she will unfriend an ex for you; delete photos from your phone or social media profiles; erase someone’s contact information form your phone, but keep it for you just in case you want it back; create emails to send to over-sharing coworkers; and unfollow or unfriend accounts associated not just with the person you want to forget, but their connections, too.”
The service sounds rather appealing, doesn’t it? After all, to excise someone’s every trace, you have to reencounter them, at least to some extent. And depending on the circumstances, that experience can range from “bummer” to “traumatic.”
Sinders explains to the Daily Dot, “It’s a manual labor you have to do, and when you’re in a high-stress or highly emotional place, it’s another frustrating thing—it’s a mechanism that adds to the frustration of living.”
A freelance photographer with a background in computers, Sinders has assumed the role of Social Media Breakup Coordinator “after extensive research into online relationships and harassment.” What she has learned, she tells the Daily Dot, “is that once you start to get to know someone and that relationship sours...it’s still really hard to mute someone that you know is being mean to you or won’t talk to you, or broke up with you, or you hurt them. That doesn’t feel good for most people.”
Sinders seems to have her finger on our collective pulse. And although she claims that her project “satirizes” the way we can “outsource” most any task, she is, as the Daily Dot notes, “providing a very real service.” It is moreover a service developed after conferences with “crisis counselors, lawyers, developers, and therapists to figure out the best ways to both help people through emotional and digital issues, and determine her own role in the project.”
For instance, it might seem that working with Sinders would be a necessarily intimate process, but she has not designed her program that way. Instead, Sinders offers her clients “broader solutions,” which gives them “more agency without thinking she knows more, or is better equipped to handle their emotional state.”
Indeed, when we are at our most vulnerable, and perhaps feel acutely disempowered, remembering that we do possess the agency to handle our shit can be tremendously meaningful. Sinders doesn’t force her clients to relinquish that – she merely offers herself as a pressure valve amidst the heartache and disappointment.
Note: Caroline Sinders actually launched the Social Media Breakup Coordinator project as a performance art piece enacting a service that seemed viable in our digital climate. However, her research and findings have demonstrated a significant need for this kind of service – and, as she tells the author in an email, she feels qualified to provide it. Perhaps you will, one day, be able to call on her after all! (Or, alternatively, you could begin your own social media breakup company to lift the burden of emotional labor from others’ shoulders.)
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Shutterstock.