So­cial me­dia’s lat­est trend – the breakup post

More and more cou­ples are go­ing on­line to share the news about their breakups.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By SHARMILA NAIR bytz@thes­tar.com.my Cou­ples are be­gin­ning to an­nounce their breakups on so­cial me­dia. — TNS

WHEN ac­tress Gwyneth Pal­trow an­nounced on her web­site that she and her then hus­band Chris Martin had de­cided to “con­sciously un­cou­ple”, the In­ter­net laughed. In uni­son.

That­wasin2014,andPal­trow was ridiculed for months for coin­ing the quirky term and also for tak­ing her­self too se­ri­ously. But my, how things have changed since then.

To­day, on top of the reg­u­lar cheesy vomit-in­duc­ing #isaidyes en­gage­ment/wed­ding/baby-on-the­way an­nounce­ments, there is a new kind of post that keeps pop­ping up on our time­lines – the breakup post.

Mod­ern Fam­ily star Ariel Win­ter hinted at her split from song­writer Lau­rent Claude Gaudette with this post: “Love doesn’t die, it sim­ply evolves. We grow up, we re­alise what we truly want. I’m ex­cited for this new chap­ter in my love life – love is all around.”

Cou­ples are an­nounc­ing their breakups to fam­ily, friends and even fans us­ing so­cial me­dia sites and sur­pris­ingly, they are not at all cringe­wor­thy. These aren’t your reg­u­lar “so-and-so is a ly­ing, cheat­ing piece of scum. It’s over be­tween us” kind of posts.

These are posts that are re­spect­ful of both par­ties, cher­ish­ing the time they have spent to­gether but ad­mit that they are un­able to carry on the love.

“(Part­ner’s name) and I would like to in­form you that we are no longer to­gether. Our ro­mance may have come to an end, but our re­spect for each other re­mains for­ever. We thank you all for be­ing a part of this amaz­ing jour­ney but the time has come for us to move on in­di­vid­u­ally” is an ex­am­ple of how these posts are writ­ten.

Such posts are im­por­tant, es­pe­cially if – for some rea­son or other – one has been in­vested in the re­la­tion­ship too. Creepy? Not at all – this hap­pens a lot among so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers who have fol­low­ers who root for cou­ples they don’t even know in real life.

Aus­tralian model Ash­ley Hart took it one step fur­ther when she penned a whim­si­cal poem about her breakup from then-hus­band and fel­low so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer Buck Palmer. At the very least, it an­swered ques­tions that her fans would have had about the lack of Buck-re­lated posts in her time­line.

Some peo­ple might say that it is un­nec­es­sary to share such de­tails of their lives, but it shouldn’t come as a sur­prise since we now live in a world where over­shar­ing on so­cial me­dia has be­come the norm.

“These days, so­cial me­dia has made re­veal­ing such pri­vate info a lot eas­ier be­cause one can just post info with­out hav­ing to see the tar­geted au­di­ence in the eye. Of course, the pri­mary in­ten­tion is usu­ally to get al­most im­me­di­ate emo­tional sup­port, un­der­stand­ing, an ‘agree­ment’ from one’s clos­est ‘friends’,” says Cy­ber­jaya Univer­sity Col­lege of Med­i­cal Sciences Re­search Re­sources Cen­tre di­rec­tor As­soc Prof Dr Muham­mad Na­jib Mo­hamad Alwi.

“One in­ter­est­ing ob­ser­va­tion is that on FB (or other so­cial me­dia sites), these ‘friends’ could only be an ac­quain­tance in the real world, but in cy­berspace, he or she may ap­pear very close and sup­port­ive. And this is a very im­por­tant sup­port net­work for many peo­ple these days,” he adds.

But wouldn’t you want to know why we do not see pic­tures of the cou­ple, or posts in which they tag each other any­more?

In fact, it could even stop us from mak­ing a so­cial me­dia faux pas of men­tion­ing the (now non) sig­nif­i­cant other in the same post. It surely is a healthy way of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, for the per­son who posts them as well as their cy­ber bud­dies?

“One can have no con­trol on how their friends will be af­fected by the sta­tus. If many peo­ple liked or gave en­cour­ag­ing or sup­port­ive com­ments on their sta­tus as they hoped, cou­ples can feel un­der­stood and per­haps even re­lieved. On the other hand, such sta­tus (up­dates) may also in­vite neg­a­tive com­ments, which might make the sit­u­a­tion worse for the cou­ple,” says Muham­mad Na­jib.

Whether these breakup posts are taste­ful or not, what is im­por­tant is that it gives us, their friends, fam­ily and fol­low­ers, clo­sure.

We now know that that par­tic­u­lar chap­ter of their lives has closed and, like them, we too have­to­moveon.

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