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Facebook Makes the Heart Grow Sadder
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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Two people meet, feel the spark of a connection begin to form. It soon turns into a full-fledged romantic relationship. Declarations of love are made to family and friends. Text messages filled with sweet nothings are sent back and forth between one another throughout the day. You feel as if you are sitting on top of the world. You want to share this new romance with anyone who will listen. Just one more step remains before your relationship is complete. It needs to become Facebook official!

Once you make that Facebook declaration status of "in a relationship" your new life as a couple can begin. Friends and family can now become involved in your relationship as well. They can “like” pictures of you and your significant other, share relationship news on their News Feeds, or comment on status updates gushing about your happiness together. Within weeks of that budding relationship taking flight, your Facebook timeline depicts a story of love and future plans. Life in love on Facebook is good!

Inevitably the unthinkable happens. One half of the happy couple no longer wants to be a part of the relationship. Sadly, you are not that one half. Before you even can begin to figure out what went wrong, your Facebook status sadly and quietly goes back to "single." What now?

You try to erase the pain by engaging in various breakup traditions. After a few days you have eaten your weight in chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Wadded-up tissues cover your coffee table, evidence from your sappy romantic movie marathon session. You’ve hit the gym, shopped till you dropped, and cried on your best friend’s shoulder. There have been nights out dancing at the clubs as friends tried to find someone new for you. Eventually you think it might be time to move on.

For the first time since the breakup, you log into Facebook and there it is. A status update from your ex about grabbing a cup of coffee this morning. It is a coffee stop at the place the two of you shared each morning before heading off in different directions for the day. Just like that, all the post-breakup feelings come rushing back. You take a look around your Facebook account and discover that the digital memories of that failed relationship are everywhere!

Cornia Sas, human-computer interaction researcher from the University of Lancaster, defines newly single Facebook users as being either "keepers" or "deleters." A keeper will hold on to those digital memories until the moment feels right to let it all go. They run the risk of seeing a status update from their ex talking about meeting someone new. Deleters waste no time erasing those memories the moment the relationship comes to an end.

Breaking up is hard to do. Facebook makes it a little bit harder. Just ask yourself if you can bear seeing that new status update or if it’s time to unfriend and move on! 


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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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