How to erase an ex’s existence on Facebook

Valentine’s Day is considered by many to be a day of love and romance, a day spent with that special someone in your life, an afternoon and evening filled with chocolates, flowers and joyful memories. There are also those people that call Valentine’s Day the “Hallmark Holiday.” They believe it is a day designed to make men feel obligated to buy their partner the perfect gift or doom their relationships.

This year, Facebook and the people at Clearhart Digital decided to ring in Valentine’s Day by launching new app called KillSwitch. KillSwitch is a 99 cent app that removes all records of ex-friends from your Facebook history, usually ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. So all those happy pictures of the two of you and all those mushy statuses and private messages saying how great your sweetheart is and how much you hope that you will be “Together 4 Ever” are gone from the cyber world.

Assuming that this app is designed to appeal to women, I asked 10 Ole women what they thought of KillSwitch. I was surprised by the variety of answers I received.

Katelyn Regenscheid ’15 said that she realized the value of the app and believed that it was only a matter of time before a company would find a way to make money on the idea.

“The app is a great idea because I’m sure tons of post-relationship men and women will purchase it while they sit around with friends after the breakup and bash their exes,” Regenscheid said. “Psychologically, I’m not sure if it’s really necessary; financially, someone is going to get rich off of raging teenage emotions.”

Both Jessica Price ’14 and Kim Moren ’13 had more of a negative reaction to the KillSwitch app.

“I’ve never been the type of person to want to erase a person from my life completely,” Price said. “I still like to remind myself of all the happy moments we had together.”

“I wouldn’t say that KillSwitch is generally a good idea because most of the time, trying to erase the past isn’t really healthy,” Moren said.

Elisabeth Springer ’15 believed that we are who we are, bad relationships and all.

“I just wouldn’t do it unless it was absolutely necessary,” Springer said. “Sure, the cheesy posts and pictures might be a bit embarrassing, but I feel that our collection of past human experiences make us who we are today, and deleting a picture can’t delete the past or the fact that what happened, happened.”

Ellie Mears ’15 saw both pros and cons to the KillSwitch app. She said a strong pro for the KillSwitch app is its use by people who have been in abusive relationships.

“At first I thought this app was a bad idea. I would personally never want to erase any of my memories that I have with my ex, good or bad,” Mears said. “However, I know a couple girls who would disagree. One was mentally abused by her ex-boyfriend and another was raped. Both these girls saw the boy who hurt them on Facebook all the time through pictures and old statuses, even though they had blocked the guy from their accounts. For these kinds of relationships, the app would actually be a huge help.”

Abuse would be a solid reason to look into buying this app. In some cases, the girl or guy abused by their partner might be better, emotionally, by getting off Facebook entirely for a few weeks after a relationship has ended to truly start allowing themselves to heal.

Outside of abuse, removing any record of your ex because things did not end on the best of terms will not erase the relationship and the memories. And, who knows? When you are older, you may want to look back at old photos on Facebook to remember that college boyfriend from way-back-when. You could have a really good laugh at your youthful mistakes and your previous terrible taste in men.