Your friend broke up with her boyfriend of 2.5 years last month. She was heartbroken–they were shopping for engagement rings before he realized that he didn’t want to be engaged to her. Browsing through your Facebook friends’ pages, you click on her ex-boyfriend’s page and you see he’s changed his status to “In a Relationship.” You click on his photos and there are pictures of him hugging and kissing a new girl. “Oh no!” You think. Your friend will be devastated.
With us spending more time with our friends in digital time than in real time, this scenario is happening more often than ever. The NYTimes.com‘s Style section published a story about “Breaking Up in a Digital Fishbowl,” which talks about the downsides of social networks and e-mail–love is gone yet you’re still connected.
Ending a relationship is hard enough without having to deal with Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Gmail, the article points out. Have you ever tried to close a Facebook or Myspace account? Or just simply delete the dozens of photos that you and an ex may have posted on line. They don’t make it easy. Furthermore “tweets have a way of wending their way back to scorned exes thanks to the interconnectedness of social media,” the article reads.
And like in real life, Divorces are even trickier.
“Randall Kessler, a lawyer in Atlanta, said he advises divorcing clients to change their passwords, stop posting on social networking sites, acquire a new e-mail address, and secure or make copies of whatever is posted about them online. Users, of course, control what they post on private accounts. Where it gets tricky, though, is when photos, videos and comments have been forwarded, retweeted or reposted to friends’ accounts or on public Web sites.”
The article points out that the digital break-up scene is causing us to redefine our relationships (past and present), giving thought to the online component, because this interconnectedness is not stopping. Oh what a tangled web we have woven.
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