In The Shadows

Remember when breaking up meant you barely see each other again?

Those beautiful days when your heart felt shattered into a bajillion pieces and you simply avoided the same haunts and put all their stuff in a dark closet and pushed them out of your mind?

This is, of course, a serious case of karma rearing it’s ugly head at me again.  After this spring, when I railed against an ex for adding me on Facebook and then promptly ignoring me.  I found the entire situation to be childish and silly – why reach out to be friends when we weren’t friends currently only to ignore me and still not be friends?

Was he just stalking me?

Then, yesterday, I peered over the edge and proceeded to fall into the rabbit hole.  The dangerous thing with online existence is that when you are dating, you add your new squeeze to all your networks in case things pan out and you are finally able to achieve that holy grail of updating your relationship status on Facebook.

It started with looking through tagged photos I had looked at 100 times before on Facebook.  Then it was comments on “mutual friends’ walls.”  Then it was a Google search.  Then it was a Twitter account.  Then Flickr.  I was like an addict, desperately seeking out any shred of him I could find.

And finally I ended up back at the beginning, looking at the dating profile that had brought him into my life in the first place.  A new picture, new words, new interests…he had moved on and was still trying to find someone.  What the heck was I doing?

First things first, I severed the deepest of the online ties.  I “Removed His As A Friend” on Facebook.  Yes, I committed online homicide to any future online relationship.  And I wished there was just some way I could remove him forever.

Fortunately for me, fate intervened, and someone randomly sent me the link to a website that promised JUST that.  The Ex-Blocker (BlockYourEx) is an add-on application you can download* that will block any online possibility of you finding information about your ex.  Simply enter their name, Twitter handle, Facebook profile and Website URL and they guarantee your ex will be blocked from your online searches.  So I did, and immediately went to Facebook to see if he was gone.

The page yelled at me.

Ex Blocked!

But it was definitely serving it’s purpose.  I could still see most of the page (I’ve photo-shopped the bejeezus out of this screen shot) and it was just a little too easy to “Click To Unblock” the page.  Yet I felt chastized peeping into his world through a gauzy white filter, knowing that I was doing something I shouldn’t.  Made it much guiltier than an hour chasing his memory around the interwebs.

Yet how would it work on searches?  Google is like my own personal Private Investigator, and I am like a black belt in my stalking skills using the tool.  I thought about someplace I knew he’d “turn up” and remembered the 5K races he had started running.  I adored seeing his face light up talking about his times in various races, getting faster and finding something he enjoyed so much.  So I Googled one of the races and pulled up the results.  Surely this add-on wasn’t advanced enough to delete his name from an obscure 5K race that he ran one weekend in June.

He's Disappeared There Too!

Sure enough, there among the names and times there appeared a big white space where his used to be (again, this page is photoshop chopped all up, but you can see where the arrow is pointing out the blank space that used to have his name.)

Now, if only I could figure out a way to apply this app to the City of Portland.

What is your experience “online stalking” the ex?  How did you kick the habit?

# Dylan, our resident “Geek” here at would absolutely laugh at me if I recommended you download programs to your computer without knowing what they are. So I Googled and researched to the tilt the “BlockYourEx” application to see if there were any viruses/trojans/etc.  I could find nothing, and tech friends agreed.  But I *did* uninstall the add-on after it appeared to make my internet run slower.  I guess crawling every single page you load to make sure your ex doesn’t appear on it takes some juice.  But if you wanted to get rid of them that badly, it might just be worth it.

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