Breaking Up is Harder to Do in 2010

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BY Heather Downing > Senior > Communications and Asian Studies > Saint Peter’s College / Second photo by Liz Swezey > Sophomore > Photography > The College of New Jersey
Breakups have always been one of the less enjoyable aspects of young love; but for our generation, new technology seems to be making the process even harder.

“When you are breaking up, the medium is the message,” Ilana Gershon explains in her book, “Breakup 2.0.” Gershon, an assistant professor of communication and culture at Indiana University, points out that we have expectations of relationships and, in turn, breakups.

In other words, a 140-character tweet won’t suffice, and changing your Facebook relationship status to “single” does not mean you broke up in reality. “I think that breaking up with someone in person is just standard courtesy,” says Janna Cole, a junior at Coastal Carolina University. When she and her college boyfriend couldn’t keep a long distance relation- ship going over the summer, she waited to break up with him until the fall semester so she could do it in person.

“Be a man and talk to my face,” says Felicia Fagnani, a graphic design major at University of the Arts. She was anything but pleased when her exes broke up with her through MySpace and instant messenger. “I know it can be rough, but it’s the mature thing to do.”
 
In addition to changing the way we break up, technology has also affected what we do after the emotional ending, i.e. Facebook stalking. “[Exes] read into the clues that these technologies offer, but it doesn’t provide the closure they were hoping to get,” says Gershon.
 
Ever looked at your ex’s pro- file online? “All the time,” says Rutgers University junior, Brian Lallier. “Part of it is for nostalgia, the other is to see that I’m doing better than she is—it’s wrong, but it’s the truth.” Lallier acknowledges that these behaviors have never helped him get over an ex, and instead keep him obsessing about them, unable to move on.
 
So despite what we’ve gained from social media and technology, maybe it’s best to keep things old-fashioned when it comes to breakups: meet in person, maybe grab some Ben & Jerry’s and stay away from that laptop.

 


College Magazine Staff

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