Mil­len­ni­als opt­ing to re­veal splits on­line

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NOTHWEST/TELEVISION - CAS­SAN­DRA JARAMILLO

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.

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