Okay, don’t freak out, but yesterday the planet briefly stopped turning on its axis as professional alluring person Kim Kardashian ever so briefly dropped hubby/future presidential cabinet member Kanye West’s last name from her social media profiles.
I know, HOLY F&*$ING SH!T, right?!
The temporary name-quake takes place after fissures of divorce rumors sprung up around the usually shy and reclusive super couple. But the Richter scale of fame returned to normal a few hours later when Kim slapped “West” back on her name (PHEW!), and even posted a blurry photo of the whole royal fam.
Reality stars aren’t the only ones who might need to change things up on social media, though. But how do you disentangle yourself from a significant other on social media? It’s a question any one of us might need to consider at some point. You and your (formerly?) loved one might not be as globally recognized as K-squared, but to your immediate social circles, you’re just as famous.
I can only assume that Kim is an avid reader of PCMag—it’s where she goes to keep up on all the latest tech reviews and social media tips. So, should she need to formally break with Kanye on the interwebs, here’s how she might go about doing that. This one’s for you, Kim! And for you, too, reader.
Twitter is the preferred social network of media elites, minimalist trolls, and ISIS. It’s also the platform on which it’s the easiest to disentangle yourself from another. For one, there’s no official “relationship status” section like you find on other networks.
Users are free to change their name or handle at any time. (Note: these are two different things; your name is how you identify your profile, while your handle is everything after the @ symbol—this is how people ping you within the network.)
To make these changes via the Web, click on your profile pic in the top right-hand corner to prompt a pull-down menu. Choose Settings. Here you will be able to change your name as you see fit.
On mobile via Android, click your avatar in the top-left corner > Profile > Edit profile. On iOS tap “Me” at the bottom of your screen > Edit profile.
But there is one little caveat with making these changes. If you happen to be a verified user (that is, you have that little blue checkmark next to your name like a certain reality star we know), you can lose that status if you change your handle. Fortunately, Kim kept her original handle, @KimKardashian and therefore was able to remove and add the “West” to her name all willy-nilly with barely a bat of a false eyelash from anyone.
Instagram was another casualty in Kimye’s continent-shifting event. If you and your ex are one like Pangaea on there, you can change your Instagram name with ease in the settings, just like Kim did. She wisely kept instagram.com/KimKardashian even after marriage, so her verification and follower status were never in jeopardy.
There are conflicting reports about whether changing your Instagram handle will affect your verification; we’ve reached out to Instagram for clarification and will update with info if we get it.
To change your information via the Web interface, click the person icon in the top-right corner > Edit Profile. On mobile, click the person icon in the bottom-right corner > Edit Profile.
Facebook is where things get a bit more tricky. The platform is built on allowing everyone you know to keep careful track of the changes in your life. You welcome as many likes and comments as possible on #fallfrolicking status updates, but would likely prefer to keep an uncoupling quiet.
Fortunately, there’s a way to alter your status on the DL.
On the Web, go to the About section of your profile page > choose the “Family and Relationships” tab > hover over the “Relationship” section to reveal the “Edit” icon on the right. Here, you can choose your relationship status from a pull-down menu. To the left of the Save Changes button, you’ll find another pull-down box that allows you to limit who will be notified of this change (including just keeping it to yourself).
So whether you’re married or single or it’s complicated, hiding it is easy.
It’s a similar process on mobile. First you’ll have to go to your profile page (which you can access by tapping on your profile pic next to where you would enter a status update) > About > More about you > scroll down to find your Relationship section.
Facebook knows breakups are hard, so when you change your status to single it automatically gives you the ability to mute your ex without having to unfriend them.
As we said, things seem to be back to normal in the Kimye household. But if they take a turn for the worse or the spate of celebrity breakups has you rethinking your own status, PCMag is here to help you and Kim.