Monday, April 02, 2007

Breaking up is hard to do ... except on MySpace

Take my advice: If you're a little squeamish about discovering what your children do in their private time, you'll want to look for porn between your teenage son's matresses before you look at his MySpace page. You might be happier to find a dozen condoms in your daughter's purse than to see what she's doing at FaceBook. It will be less unsettling.

Kids do everything online ... and not always what their parents would like to see. Just leave well enough alone and don't go. Honest. I mean it.

And now it appears that these hard-wired kids are not just living their relationships online, but also ending them there (and in text messages or IMs), too.

A report in today's Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald explores a new California study that finds MySpace is the tool of choice when kids are breaking off relationships.

"By breaking up through MySpace comments, the heartbreaker is attempting to assert their view for everyone else to see so they cannot be accused of saying something else in private, different from what they believe that they did say," says researcher Danah Boyd of the University of California.

Seems pretty impersonal to say "Adios 2 U" by text message. But maybe it doesn't matter. Perhaps it's even one of those signs of progress that, in the Digital Age, all you must do to dissolve a relationship is press the "End" key.

Now I hope someone is working on a "Smite" key.

3 comments: said...

Seems a bit cruel to tell the world that you are dumping someone. Maybe that's the idea, or maybe the dumpers just don't realize the significance of making such intimate matters public - very public.

SingingSkies said...

I don't think my son has ever broken up on MySpace, but I happened to be present once (gesticulating frantically in the background and being ignored) as he broke up with his girlfriend via instant message while soliciting advice on what to say from another friend via phone. To his credit, at least he was gentle and fair in the process.

I've been a part of an online chat forum where the moderators 'smited' offenders. I think it's already been invented, but just isn't readily accessible to all and sundry.

btw - Congrats on the Texas Associated Press award for Best Blog:)

The Relationship Journalist said...

I think breaking up in cyberspace is so thoughtless. Be a grown up and break up in person. It's only fair.

Lisa Steadman
Author, It's A Breakup, Not A Breakdown