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Facebook Eases the Digital Pain When You Break Up

facebook breakup heartBreaking up on Facebook isn’t a piece of digital cake. The amount digital housekeeping and detoxing from your ex can be overwhelming. Add on top of it, your friends who have watched your courtship dissolve as you changed your status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” may have a lot to say about it.

I’ve always said the most powerful status on Facebook is the relationship status. Facebook could be the world’s largest dating site. Couples find love on Facebook and many have been featured in Facebook Love Stories.

People are obsessed with when their friends change their status. They love to cheer you on when you post photos of your romantic journey together.

Since our fascination with the Facebook relationship status will never wane, I was thrilled to see that Facebook just announced a new tool that will help ease the digital pain during a breakup. You no longer have to cut the cord and unfriend or block your ex when it’s time to split up. After all, some people just have a bump on the road and get back together again, so why obliterate your ex completely, especially if it’s just temporary?

According to the Facebook blog, these new Facebook tools allow you to see less of your former flame, by preventing his or her status updates and posts to appear in your feed and help you easily untag yourself from photos of the two of you together.

“.. we are testing tools to help people manage how they interact with their former partners on Facebook after a relationship has ended. When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools.”

I think these are terrific features, as I know many people instantly block their ex, without the ex even knowing so, and then back-peddle and send a new friend request, out of embarrassment, once they’ve kissed and made up.

The thing is, do we really need to see what our ex is doing, especially if they are in the arms of another man or woman? How can one move on if they don’t digitally detox from their ex on Facebook?

This interim feature is one that I highly recommend and it’s started to roll out on the mobile app. Sure you might hate your ex right away, but if they were important in your life, at some point you and your ex might be able to be friends if both of you have happily moved on with others.

Should You Be Friends with an Ex on Facebook?

I don’t believe in being friends with an ex on Facebook, at least not right away. When a former boyfriend blocked me and unfriended me when we went our separate ways, I thought it was quick and cruel. I did understand that he was trying to heal and that seeing photos of me and us together prevented him from moving on. I actually didn’t really want to see details of his dating life either. We had the talk about what to do on Facebook and mutually decided it was the best way to go. Then one day, he went onto his Facebook page and untagged himself from every photo we had appeared in together and deleted every photo, including group photos. The process took him hours to complete.

Had this Facebook breakup feature been in place, it would have saved him and many others the long arduous and painful task of removing the past on the world’s largest social network.

RELATED: DATING IN A FACEBOOK WORLD

Still, for someone with a failed relationship, when they post that they’re no longer in a relationship on Facebook, their friends instantly jump in and want to know why. They’ll get a bunch of digital sympathy, but when you’re in pain, it can sting both online and offline.

My question to you is, would you use Facebook’s breakup tools or just let the digital chips land where they may?

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the creator of FacebookLoveStories.com and helps singles find love on the Internet with her Irresistible Profiles programs and Online Dating BootCamps. For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

‘Tis the Season to Breakup

facebook breakup heartPut on your seat belt now through Christmas Eve if you’re in a rocky relationship, as you may become one of the holiday statistics. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but breakup season is officially here.

The Facebook breakup chart from David McClandess, which was released a few years ago, spread like wildfire over the Internet. Based on a study of profile updates with the words “breaking up” and “breakup” it was proven that the two weeks leading up to Christmas showed a peak for those bidding farewell to their current love interest.

Facebook Breakup Chart

Although couples were given ample time to prepare for holiday breakups, we were told that the period of December 11 – 24th would be a peak period for relationships to dissolve. Fortunately, Christmas day isn’t a popular day to say “au revoir” to your beau. The research on Facebook status updates was based on search words for breakup and breaking up.

RELATED: BREAKING UP: 12 SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE GETTING DUMPED

So why has breaking up become such a hot topic this holiday season? The time leading up to a major holiday or event for a couple can be very stressful. Along with birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries, the Christmas season is a time where you show the world that you are a couple. It also involves a financial investment, and with today’s economy, many singles aren’t willing to invest in an expensive gift if they know the relationship is about to run its course.

RELATED: FACEBOOK EASES THE PAIN DURING A BREAKUP

Unfortunately, breaking up has become a little too easy to do. Saying goodbye in an email, text, or changing your facebook status relationship change has become more popular for those who don’t want to get slapped in the face. Don’t be surprised if you find out your current love interest has reactivated their online dating profile in the coming weeks. Then again, sometimes it’s good to say, “Out with the old, in with the new.”

RELATED: DEADLY BREAKUP OBSESSIONS

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Online Dating Profiles. For dating advice, follow Julie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

RELATED: THE TEXT MESSAGE BREAKUP: WHO’S DOING IT?

Breaking Up on Facebook

 

The subject of breaking up on Facebook is a hot topic these days. Earlier this month, David McCandless published his now-famous Facebook Breakup Chart which spread like wildfire on the Web. We now know what we already realized. Holiday heartbreak is heading into its busy season.

A month before the chart appeared online, I discussed my Rules of Netiquette for Facebook relationships and breakups with Michelle Yarn at GalTime.com

With over 1 billion members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.

Read excerpts from It’s Complicated: Breaking Up in a Facebook World

Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.

Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, “It’s Complicated.”

I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.

While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.

According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status. She says, “I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ to ‘it’s complicated’ and back to ‘single’ for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to ‘in a relationship’ and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.?

And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell. When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already. Spira adds, “If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest un-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.”

Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.

First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t un-friend him and he didn’t un-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.

What if you’re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there’s no need to rub your ex’s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.

Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.

“I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up.” She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to no one in particular – Live from Lollapalooza – jealous? I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.

Even if you delete your ex, there’s still the issue of mutual friends. This one’s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.

Spira says, “There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to “friends only.” You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select everyone, friends, or friends of friends.

Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.

“Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.