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Dumping your ex from your social media timeline

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift split up recently after a year-long relationship

Just how easy is it to get over a relationship in the era of social media? When Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift broke up, he unfollowed her from Twitter and she removed posts of herself with him from Instagram.

Social media etiquette after a break-up can be a minefield, especially if you're one of those people who has documented every intricate moment of your time together.

From status updates and check-ins to photos and videos, erasing every trace of your relationship history can be a painful but necessary way of dealing with the heartache.

And if you do but they don't do the same, does this mean you have accepted it's over but they haven't?

Image copyright Thinkstock

Zara, not her real name, is a big social media user. She is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She broke up with her boyfriend of six months in April.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind romance. He swept me off my feet and I couldn't help but post about it on my social media accounts as I thought he was 'The One'.

"We went on holiday together and were both posting pictures from our social media accounts.

"When we broke up he immediately deleted our pictures from Facebook, unfriended and blocked me. It was a shock to the system.

"It was as though we had never existed. I thought that was a bit immature. I dealt with it at first by posting memes initially. In the end I deleted them. I also unfriended and blocked him

"The person they were meant for wasn't going to see them, but I suppose it was more for our mutual friends to see as a way of getting my point across. It was cathartic for a while."

Image copyright Thinkstock

Forgotten memories

When Rash, not his real name, got divorced in 2011 he deleted pictures of his wedding from Facebook and spent hours untagging himself from photos of him and his ex-wife together. But he says Facebook's memories feature is a painful reminder of a broken relationship.

"The problem is that even though we are no longer connected on social media, my friends' photos of us that day keep appearing in my memories and it's a time I'd rather forget," he says.

"I could contact my friends individually to ask them to remove the photos or untag me but I don't expect people will want to go through their pictures from five years ago, just so that they stop cropping up on my memories."

Luckily for Rash, there is a way to control what you see in Facebook memories.

By going to the 'On this Day' tab on your Facebook page. Then click on Preferences on the top right-hand corner. This will allow you to add filters in your memories option.

You can then enter the names of the people you no longer want to see memories of and any dates of past events that you would rather forget.

Image copyright Facebook

So what do you do if you no longer want to see an ex's tweets or posts? Facebook says its privacy settings allows you to manage what you share and what you see.

Image copyright Facebook

You can stay friends with someone and unfollow them, but that's only if you want to remain friends without seeing pictures of them with their new partner appearing on your timeline. It still allows you to snoop on their page, something you may want to avoid, especially if their posts suggest they are clearly not suffering without you.

If that is going to be a virtual kick in the teeth, you can always block your ex.

To access your privacy functions on Facebook you can go to settings and open privacy shortcuts.

Image copyright Facebook

Other social media sites also have features which allow you to manage any content posted by an ex.

On Twitter you can unfollow an account or block the user. If you block an account they will see a message stating they have been blocked. You will also not be able to see that person's tweets, moments or other account information.

On Instagram you can report and block users and delete pictures you have posted.

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