Let's imagine a purely hypothetical situation in which your girlfriend dumps you because she couldn't understand that writing a revolutionary TV pilot is an artistic process that occasionally involves smoking too much weed and watching nature documentaries for three straight days.
In this situation -- as is the case with the end of most relationships -- there should only be one thing on your mind: winning the breakup.
Unfortunately, it's hard to figure out the score when your ex made it clear you're no longer wanted in his or her life.
It's hard to pick the best part about growing up in the midst of a technological revolution, but one of the major benefits is it's now easier than ever to snoop on someone without having to leave the safety of your crumb-covered couch.
This is a marked improvement over the preferred method of stalking during the majority of the 20th century, which required a pair of binoculars, an open window and a conveniently-placed oak tree.
If you haven't been blocked on all forms of social media, it can be an invaluable resource for finding the evidence you need to figure out if you should be more or less depressed based on how your ex is doing.
It's important to know how to properly utilize these platforms, so I put together this handy guide to help.
The real reason people use social media is to make their lives sound and look a lot more exciting and dramatic than they really are, and it's important to keep this in mind when you visit Facebook.
It might be hard to see the word "single" next to your ex's relationship status after such a short amount of time. You might have trouble dealing with the sheer number of shared articles explaining why all relationships are toxic.
However, you probably employed the exact same strategies, so it's vital to remember even though it might look like the other person is having fun, every single like and upload is a calculated move to make you hate yourself a little bit more.
A major reason Facebook has become so successful is that it somehow managed to convince its users to share as much information about their lives as possible for no real reason at all.
Instagram might not be able to tell you what movies your ex was into as an underclassman in high school, but it's the perfect place to jump to irrational conclusions based on the things you fabricate from fairly innocuous photos.
There are two wine glasses on that table -- are they being consoled by a friend or meeting a stranger for drinks?
You can certainly go back through your ex's timeline to try and decipher the deeper meaning of the latest string of cryptic thoughts and song lyrics, but this is only scratching the service when it comes to stalking potential.
In order to use Twitter to gather intelligence, take a look at the most recent favorites. Who have he or she followed recently? Has anything been uploaded from an exotic location?
For example, if your ex favorited a tweet about piña coladas at a Hawaiian resort three hours before she follows a muscular hula dancer with 187 followers, you might have cause to worry.
Here's a piece of advice if you're looking to win the breakup war: DO NOT GO ON LINKEDIN.
You will not just lose -- it will be your personal Waterloo. For the most part, the Internet is a terrible place filled with terrible people, but LinkedIn has somehow managed to remain an oasis of happiness and positivity.
There's no such thing as bad news; nobody ever gets fired, they just spontaneously start working somewhere else. That promotion might not have come with a pay raise, but at least they get a chance to update their official title.
LinkedIn is basically Facebook on MDMA. Avoid it at all costs.
Netflix might not fit the traditional definition of social media, but that doesn't mean you can't use it to try and figure out your ex's mental state.
You'd think most people would stop sharing accounts after a breakup, but the inconvenience of changing your password or actually paying for a subscription easily outweighs any potential awkwardness that might ensue from knowing what each other is watching.
If the other person's been powering through "Gilmore Girls" or various 80s movies featuring greased-up muscle men doing martial arts, you can be fairly confident he or she is doing about as well as you are.
However, if "Boogie Nights" or one of the million available boob-filled "American Pie" ripoffs is on the "Recently Watched" list, you might want to start worrying a little bit.
You should be careful when perusing other people's payment history because the fact that they're using Venmo means they're presumably doing fun things with other people while you're spending hours alone on the Internet.
If Instagram is where you go to use pictures to envision a worst-case scenario, Venmo is the place to do the exact same thing with vague descriptions and emoji.
For example, if your ex sent Chris R. money for pizza at 1:21 am on a Friday and he sent her cash for a cab (classy) at 9:47 on Saturday morning, it's probably time to take a break.
I'd suggest watching Netflix, but I can't do that in good conscience based on the previous entry.