Millennials opting to reveal splits online
It’s not unusual to see engagement announcements, wedding announcements and we’ve-got-a-baby-on-the-way announcements while scrolling Facebook timelines.
Especially among millennials, when a couple has news to share, it’s natural to tell friends and family online, because that’s where we know they all are.
But there’s something new on social networks, and these posts catch my attention more than the usual puppy pictures and meal shots. It’s the trend of couples announcing their breakups.
These aren’t cringe-worthy, reputation-bashing screeds. They’re relatively positive and healthy breakup posts. Posts that talk about a deep mutual respect for each other, but a love that could not carry on.
Some might say it’s a private matter that should not be shared. But admit it, with the amount that people typically post about their significant other on social media, isn’t it strange when you no longer see that person mentioned?
Your first question is: What happened?
As a social media viewer, you get a bit invested in the relationships, too — even when you barely know the people.
The breakup announcements help eliminate those questions. It’s the reason why Kayla Clifton, a 22-year-old from southeast Texas, decided to post a status when she and her fiance split.
“I wanted everyone to hear it straight from me instead of through rumors,” Clifton says. “I wanted everyone to know that both of us are OK with it, and that we had no hard feelings. It also made things easier for us by not having to constantly tell people we split.”
Relationship experts say that the intent behind the post is the most important thing people should discuss before hitting “post.”
“If you use it as a weapon, I would say don’t do it,” says Karen Prager, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.