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What Triggering Social Media Algorithms Taught Me About Unhealed Relationships

What Triggering Social Media Algorithms Taught Me About Unhealed Relationships

Have you ever casually bumped into an old acquaintance / friend on instagram? Then all of a sudden you’re in a trance-like state reminiscing about the person you used to be when that “special” person was your partner in crime? Every-so- often this happens, and I swear that it’s a nudge from the universe reminding you of who you used to be — and more importantly how far you’ve come since them

The memories & emotions that come trickling back to you, as you click their username then slowly fall into the trap that’s their latest life highlights… 

Five minutes later, you are still on scrolling and the time stamp on the photo that now reads 2019.

In a world, with six (or fewer) degrees of separations, it’s hard to stay comfortably in your pocket of the world without an ex, friend-enemy or ‘that person” —who shall not be named—finds their way into the ‘people you may know’ category or onto your explore page. 

I’ve had days when I was scrolling, ever so casually I’ll see a familiar face pop onto the corner of my screen. I’m cackling right now, because well, the instagram algorithm surely knows how to trigger us, and to play with our emotions and anxiety. 

Recently, a familiar face popped onto my explore page and out of curiosity—my nosey ass— don’t judge me!  I tripped, fell, and face forward rolled on this “person’s” social media feed. 

Needless to say, I was triggered. My stream of consciousness and thoughts went something like this…

“oh okay”

“she looks like she’s doing well…. good for her…”

“hmmm, wow, she’s doing a lot of this and that”


Then out of nowhere my train of thought took an abrupt left as I started to read her lengthy caption… in her post, she softened allowing her audience to see a more vulnerable side to her. As I took a breath, compassion trickled in, it sat for a while then I started reflecting, on our friendship:

Who was that person in my life at that time?

Why did things end the way they did?

What did that person teach me? 

How have I shifted and changed since we last graced each other’s presence?

The thoughts that came up for me reminded me of my warped self image. I remember that I struggled to view myself positive. At that time I was somehow able to be a cheerleader for everyone except myself. Blame it on my people pleasuring x  co dependency issues. From these thoughts, feelings of anguish came up as I felt sadness by the fact that I saw such greatness and potential within other people yet, I struggle to see that in myself. 

No matter how many people told me how gifted and talented I was incapable of seeing it because of the fog that clouded my vision. It isn’t until we tell ourselves the wholehearted truth about who we are, aside from the pain and trauma that we are able to embrace ourselves. 

The universe works on it’s own timeline and in a way that’s beyond our own understanding. Sometimes I wish God would just “make it make sense”, in the here and now, but we all know that’s just not how it works!

In a world that’s so connected, it’s hard to create distance and to remain private in the stadium that is social media. As the degree of separation lessen, it’s getting hard to avoid bumping  into someone who you don’t quite f*ck with anymore. Long gone are the days of awkward runs at the local favorite’s coffee shop or on the subway.

Today this is one of many risks of being on the internet.

But I would like to invite you to take advantage of the situation when this so-called person pops up on your timeline.

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I challenge you to use those awkward (yet, intimate) moments — you know the moment when the world around you slows, just a little,  but followed by a slight increase in your heartbeat, as the song that you were listening takes a backseat to your thoughts— as a moment to reflect. 

Unhealed relationships and people from your past may trigger you. Those unresolved emotions don’t feel good but I invite you to pay attention to the emotions and memories that flow back to you— because they are trying to tell you something! And i’m here to tell you that it’s your job to listen.

After scrolling through this old friend’s instagram, as if it were the pages from my old Teen Vogue magazine, I realized that… I’ve come a long way. I’ve grown into a completely different version of myself.

In this version of myself, I’ve acknowledged the things that were holding me back all those years. I started confronting my struggles with my mental and emotional health. And I started to finally love myself for — the  beautiful, gifted, kind hearted, and smart young woman— that I always was. While I’m still very much a work in progress in this evolution called life, I’ve learned to look at this algorithmic “coincidence”, of bumping into old faces, are gentle reminders from the social media comos that you should take a moment to reflect. 

Although those unsettled feelings may come up after seeing an old friend, those emotions are here to show you that there may be some lingering unhealed emotions — and lessons to be revisited from that situation. 

Some people that we meet may be seasonal meanwhile, others stick around for a lifetime, but what they all have in common is that there is a reason, unbeknownst, to you that you need to learn. Their presence in your life has a purpose.

We are always asking the universe for a sign, and I’m here to say that THIS is your sign sis. The social media algorithm and the powers that be are somehow collating to resuscitate emotions and issues from past situations that you may be struggling to learn from.

Next time an ex or a friend-enemy pops up online, first, breathe, then try to be aware of what thoughts, emotions, feelings, and memories come rushing back to you. It’s easier said than done! but this is one way to identify what experience that you still need to work on and through. Taking the time out to reflect with the intention of gaining awareness will allow you insight to repressed emotions that are screaming to be expressed and released.

So next time the stars align and you end up on your ex-BFF’s pages, try to see it as an opportunity to unpack those emotions and do the work.

After all, the best ‘revenge’ is taking that “L” —lesson, constructively and then  using it as a tool to glow-up from the inside out!

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