The Time I was Dumped on Facebook: Breaking Up in the Digital World
By popular demand from the comments on Starting to Date in the Digital World, I have decided to share a personal experience:
When I first created my Facebook profile the option of “In a relationship with…” had not yet been invented. So call me old fashioned, but when the option was created, I didn’t feel the need to list my high school boyfriend on my profile, since everyone knew we had been dating since the days of AOL.
When we started college I often visited him and he introduced me to all his new friends as his girlfriend. Things couldn’t be better, until I noticed that he had an interest in a certain female friend that he claimed was just a friend, and of course I believed him since we had been together on and off since middle school and had always been honest. He became defensive when I inquired about photos on his Webshots account (before the fbook photo era), saying I was “overreacting,” when I really just wanted to know who his new friend was. I was in for a HUGE surprise.
One night, only days after we had last seen each other, my boyfriend was suddenly “In a Relationship with…THE GIRL FROM THE PICTURES?” Now, before the Newsfeed era, you had to go “out of your way” (how inconvenient) to find out what a friend changed on their profile. So, you can imagine how shocked I was when I went to write on his wall only to be distracted by the sudden change in relationship status.
Thinking it MUST BE a joke I called him only to get voice mail and texted him to no avail. An HOUR later he came online and said, “I didn’t want you to find out this way. But I can’t talk now, talk to you soon.” And that was it, for 2 months until intoxicated face-to-face communication provided no way out for either of us.
Over two years later, wounds have now healed and we’re remained good friends, but it is still mind boggling that a relationship of 6 years could end with such insincerity. Call me old fashioned (again) but I believe some things are sacred and should be handled appropriately. I just don’t think cutting ties over the Internet, especially with someone that you will see again, is the right way to go about things. Oddly enough, my entire dorm was shocked by the news that “Sarah on the 3rd floor got dumped on Facebook.” I got cards, desserts, and even made friendships that will last a lifetime.
What I really want to know is how this behavior translates from the virtual world into the real world? I’m under the impression that my case is not unlike many others who have split due to declared relationship statuses, photos, or hear-say online. Even celebs like Carrie Underwood have admitted to breaking up via text. Text? What’s next, Twitter in 140 characters? Is it possible to successfully handle difficult interpersonal and professional issue via the web?
Although the Internet has completely changed the communication world, I still believe that breaking up digitally, and especially on Facebook, is NOT OKAY. (Although it provides for a great conversation piece) Break-ups are never easy, but broadcasting it online is completely humiliating and provides an enormous amount of emotional trauma that I really could have done without. Think before you dump your unsuspecting girlfriend online.
Images from Flickr
Filed under: online, social media | 13 Comments
Tags: American Shelf Life, breaking up, dating, ditigal, ditigal world, facebook, online dating, Sarah Hutton, twitter, webshots
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