The Co-It-All: the perils of creeping your ex (and his new girlfriend) Courtney Shea A weekly series in which our expert in all things everything solves life’s conundrums, big and small. Got a problem that could use a no-nonsense perspective? Tell it to the Co-It-All at email@example.com The other day my girlfriends and I were spying on my ex’s new girlfriend via her Instagram account. One of my friends accidentally touched the screen and now I “like” a photo of her and said ex kissing on the beach in Thailand. Feeling totally mortified (I have never met this woman!), but can’t decide if erasing my like will draw even more attention. You are right to feel embarrassed, but unless you have a time machine on hand you are also right in assuming that the damage is done. Erasing could have zero impact (ie, she won’t notice that your like went away). More likely, though, it will confirm her suspicion that you were creeping her photos after a few cocktails and then felt shame and remorse the next morning. Erasing says Oh God, what have I done? I am such a loser! Let me crawl under the covers for all eternity By leaving the like as is you are, at the very least, owning it, which is really the only power option that you’ve got. Sure, we know it was a mistake, but she doesn’t… Picture it, Bangkok, this very minute: She’s holed up in some hotel room, ignoring Mr. Wonderful because she’s too busy texting her own girlfriends about his menacing ex who had the audacity to like her steamy smooch shot on Instagram. I’m assuming you’d rather be menacing and audacious than pathetic and sad. As far as preventing this sort of mishap in the future, you can program your phone to ask for a confirmation before liking any photo on Instagram. From the sounds of it though, the accidental like is part of a larger problem. Is checking in on your ex via social media something you do once in a while with your gal pals, or are you refreshing your phone at 4 am because Thailand is twelve hours ahead? Don’t feel too bad if it’s the latter, or at least don’t feel alone. Just last week Facebook revealed that it is currently developing a feature that will allow users to reduce the amount of ex content that comes up in their feed. Why? Because break ups were hard enough before social media forced us to watch our former flames take romantic beach vacations. Remeber that nobody’s life is as it appears on social media. So if you’re fretting about how the man who was once your eternal soul mate is now living out a postcard with an amateur bikini model, keep in mind that Instagram is to real life as Blake Lively is to real nose. They probably got food poisoning and fought the entire plane ride home. Or not. The truth of the matter is that whatever these two are getting up to, you need to roll your eyes, steel your heart and get over it. I’m going to suggest un-following your ex on all platforms and banning yourself from creeping his new lady. This is, I know, easier said than done. You may want to enlist a sponsor—a close friend who you can call when you feel your resolve starting to weaken. Another effective option is to set reasonable goals. So rather than swearing that you will never again check in on this guy, just promise that you won’t check during the week. Go hog wild on the weekends, if you must, but my guess is that it won’t be long until you have other things on your mind. Like forest fires and celebrity skin care treatments, our obsessions require oxygen to survive.