Snail-mail “Dear John” letters have long since been replaced by the publicly humiliating cyberspace affair…the dreaded Facebook breakup.
Forget the Kleenex and hours-long letdown. In a world where everyone needs everything now, even breakups can be instantaneous. They don’t even have to be face-to-face anymore, but instead, can take place on Facebook. A new survey revealed that 48 percent of people under 21 and 18 percent of 22 to 30-year-olds have dumped their certain someone on one of the social networks of cyberspace.
How gentle you let your sweetie down is up to you. Some choose a gentle approach—a polite warning message to their no-longer-significant other before changing their relationship status. Others prefer the Band-Aid method--simply changing their standing on their page to “single.” The latter option also informs anyone who is a part of their social network about their newfound singleness with live-feed updates. Sometimes, the live feed is the first time the dumped has ever heard about their breakup.
Then comes the real unraveling of the relationship—the “un-friending” process. For those who are not savvy to the social networks, this is a virtual removal of someone from their virtual group of friends. Basically, it’s a cyberspace shun.
If the initiator of the break-up is not P.O.’d with their former flame or if the breakup is friendly, there is usually a grace period before the “un-friending” begins. But for others, sometimes a big fat blockage is all the breakup warning they get. Suddenly, the page that they had been viewing for months is “private” or “no longer exists”.
Cyber-spying has also been found among the MySpacers and Facebookers. Ninety-five percent of all surveyed admitted that they have viewed their exes’ profiles after the fact…mostly to investigate the new squeeze.